The head of the Turkish Space Agency Serdar Hüseyin Yıldırım has said that they aim to land an unmanned rover on the moon in 2029 to collect scientific data.
Yıldırım stated that sending an astronaut to the moon is not currently on their agenda, but the issue might come to the foreground later on.
"There are those who think that we will send people [astranouts] to the moon. There is no such thing. The issue of manned space vehicles is not included in the first 10-year-program; we cannot do it. It is a very difficult job. It becomes very difficult when the human factor is involved. Maybe it can be considered in the following 10-year-programs," Yıldırım said.
Yıldırım made the remarks during a career fair while addressing students in the eastern province of Erzurum on March 7.
“Our spacecraft is in the design phase. In a few months later this year, we will complete the design and start production. Our rocket system is ready, our hybrid system is ready. We will first learn to reach the moon. We will learn how to get to the moon. We need to learn by doing. When the design of the vehicle is completed this year, I would like to share it with the public,” he further said.
Last year, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had said that Turkey aims to achieve the first contact with the moon as part of its national space program in 2023.
The government founded the Turkish Space Agency in 2018, with an eye to becoming a top player in global space technology.
The agency has currently no building of its own and is located at the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK).