Sun, 03 March 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

Turkey's first astronaut takes off for ISS on private flight

Update : 19 Jan 2024, 10:49

A private mission to the International Space Station (ISS) was successfully launched on Thursday with Turkey's first astronaut on board, US space agency NASA said.

A SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule lifted off on top of a Falcon 9 rocket at 4.49 p.m. local time (21:49 GMT/UTC) from Cape Canaveral Space Center in Florida.

NASA said that docking at the ISS was expected early on Saturday morning with the crew expected to stay at the ISS for two weeks.

Who is on board?

Spanish-born former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria is mission commander and is joined by Italy's Walter Villadei, Sweden's Marcus Wandt and Turkey's Alper Gezeravci — who becomes the first Turkish national to travel into space.

Gezeravci served as a fighter pilot in the Turkish Air Force and has 15 years experience on multiple aircraft, according to Axiom Space. He spoke along with the other crew members from on board the vessel in a video shared online by SpaceX.

"It was a great feeling, starting from the end of the countdown, all the way to here. A great ride," Gezeravci said, adding that he had dreamed "for so long" of being able to fly without a "ceiling." 

More on this topic

More on this topic