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Turkey welcomes its first astronaut after the ISS mission

Turkey welcomes its first astronaut after the ISS mission


Alper Gezeravc, Turkey's first astronaut, returned to Turkey on Monday after completing a mission to the International Space Station (ISS), Turkey's official Anadolu news agency reported.

Gezeravc, traveling on the presidential plane, landed in Ankara, where he was welcomed by Minister of Industry and Technology Mehmet Fatih Kacr and officials as well as an enthusiastic crowd.

During his 18-day stay on the ISS, Gezeravc conducted scientific experiments and represented Turkey's first human spaceflight mission, a cornerstone of the country's national space program.

In a ceremony at Esenboa Airport, Gezeravç presented President Recep Tayyip Erdoan with a Turkish flag and a plaque that accompanied him into space, commemorating “Turkey's first manned space mission.”

During a press conference with Minister Kacr, Gezeravc discussed his journey and the future of Turkish space exploration.

“This mission was the first but certainly not the last,” Kacr remarked, highlighting the ambition behind Turkey’s space efforts.

The Dragon capsule, carrying Gezeravc and the Axiom-3 mission team, made a successful splashdown off the coast of Florida on Friday, concluding the astronaut's return journey to Earth.

Gezeravc's mission was not without critics, who questioned the $55 million cost amid Turkey's economic challenges.

However, President Erdoan has strongly defended the mission as an integral part of Turkey's national space program.

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