Turkey has launched its first domestically-developed observation satellite, the IMECE, from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.
The launch was conducted by SpaceX and took place at 06:48 GMT on Saturday, April 15 with high-level government officials monitoring the successful launch online from Ankara.
Turkey’s first indigenous, high-resolution observation satellite features an electro-optical camera with “sub-meter resolution,” obtaining images of objects and Earth features less than a meter in length.
The satellite’s orbit will be at an altitude of 680 kilometers (422.5 miles).
Government officials have stated the satellite will be used for disaster management, agriculture and forestry, environment and urbanization, and defense.
Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyıp Erdogan, said the IMECE was entirely developed with indigenous technologies, including its flight computer and communication technologies.
The country “is reaping the benefits of its national technology move, aiming to rise to the top in the global tech league,” Erdogan said.
The IMECE Satellite
The IMECE Satellite program began development with initial funding in 2017.
The spacecraft was produced at the Turkish Aerospace Industries facility in Ankara.
Planned for a five-year mission, the platform will follow a geosynchronous orbit and be able to capture images from around the world, according to the Turkiye news outlet.
The multispectral camera will be able to capture images with an area of 13.9 × 16.2 kilometers (8.6 × 10 miles) in one frame with a resolution of almost 4 meters (13 feet).
It will be Turkey’s third satellite after the country’s Göktürk-1 and Göktürk-2 military satellites, which were constructed partly with imported technologies.