The first prototype of the Sonda Rocket, developed by Roketsan, which undertook the Micro Satellite Launch System (MUFS) Development Project initiated by the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB), was sent into space with solid fuel engine technology and is rapidly advancing towards new targets.
In 2012, the button for our country's independent access to space was pressed. In 2015, the Space Systems and Advanced Technologies Research Center (USİTAM) was established at Roketsan, and the Probe Rocket was developed in order to test space technologies and provide systems with space history in a short period of 2 years. Following the independent access to space for the first time in 2017, the flight tests in 2018 were 100% successful, resulting in many technologies such as stage separation and controlled flight outside the atmosphere.
136 km Altitude Reached
At the Satellite Launch Space Systems and Advanced Technologies Research Center, which was opened by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on August 30, 2020, many new and high-tech system and subsystem development studies are carried out, including MUFS.
As part of the MUFS Development Project, the trials of four Probe Rockets developed for testing space technologies were successfully completed on October 29, 2020. The first prototype of the Probe Rocket, the SR-0.1, was sent into space with solid propellant engine technology. In the test firing, the Sonde Rocket successfully ascended to an altitude of 136 kilometers; The attempt to separate the payload capsule during the flight, which will enable scientific research, was also successful. While this successful test makes a major contribution to the development of liquid propellant rocket engines, which are planned to meet the MUFS Development Project's need for precision orbital placement; It was also a first for Turkey to start scientific studies in space.
Steps Taken in Space
All critical technologies required for space launch systems and space vehicles were designed by Roketsan engineers and produced with completely domestic means. In these studies, the following critical systems and stages were also verified:
- Solid Fuel Rocket Engine with Thrust Vector Control
- Aerodynamic hybrid control driven by electromechanical control propulsion system in combination with Thrust Vector Control
- Multiple ignitions in space with Liquid Fuel Rocket Engine
- Precise orientation control in space environment
- Inertial Precision Navigation with spindle sensors and spindle Global Positioning System Receiver
- Capsule separation in space
- Various structural and chemical materials and advanced processing techniques
In addition, during the said trials, scientific payloads such as Star Traces and Radiation Meter were transported to the space environment as the payload of probe rockets, space history was gained and necessary scientific data were collected.
The Probe Rocket, which is planned to be launched in 2023, is planned to be a platform where Micro Satellite Launch Vehicle (MUFA) technologies will be tested, capable of lifting 300 kilograms of payload above an altitude of 100 kilometers. On the other hand, work has been accelerated for a MUFA configuration with a higher capacity (payload and/or orbital altitude) in which the first stage of the MUFA is supported by side engines.
When the MUFS project carried out at Roketsan's Satellite Launch Space Systems and Advanced Technologies Research Center is completed, micro-satellites of 100 kilograms or less will be able to be placed in Low Earth Orbit with a height of at least 400 kilometers. For this, the date 2026 is foreseen. With the micro-satellite that is aimed to be launched, Turkey will have the capability of launching, testing, manufacturing infrastructure and establishing a base, which only a few countries in the world have.
Behind the achievement of these achievements in a very short timeframe, together with the strong support of our President and the SSB, Roketsan's strength stemming from its knowledge gained over 30 years in the field of defense, infrastructures, academia/industry stakeholder ecosystem, and advanced technology experts, has been demonstrated by the civil service in the space field. the agility of directing work lies. The success story of Roketsan, written in the first five years of Turkey's space journey, is a source of encouragement and inspiration for the National Space Program.