Turkey’s space agency has successfully tested its first hybrid engine that will be used in a rocket that will send a payload to the Moon

Mustafa Varank, technology and industry minister said on Sunday that he had received information about the test, Anadolu Agency reported.

The county is planning to send the unmanned spacecraft to make a hard landing on the moon in 2023, within the scope of the country’s National Space Program.

Varank told Anadolu Agency that they made two successful firings, both the Probe Rocket System (SORS) ignition and the first ignition of the hybrid engine planned to be used in the lunar mission.

Varank said: “This 50-second ignition has successfully completed. As of today, we can say that the first tests of the engine that can be used in the lunar mission have been successfully done.”

“We have carried out the first fire of the hybrid rocket motor that can be used on the lunar mission at the same time today,” he said, adding that a prototype of the rocket engine will be launched from the northern Sinop province in May.

Turkey said earlier that it was discussing possible space program collaboration with Russia. In January this year, Turkish president Erdogan and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk spoke by telephone and discussed cooperation on space technologies with Turkish companies.

Turkey established the Turkish Space Agency, or TUA, in 2018, with the aim of joining the handful of other countries with space programs.

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