Turkey joined the space race as it launched its first-ever observation satellite from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California last Saturday, April 15.

Turkey’s Eyes and Ears

Dubbed the IMECE (“İMECE”), the homegrown Turkish tech is a sub-meter, high-resolution earth observation satellite domestically developed and designed by TÜBİTAK Space Technologies Research Institute, or TÜBİTAK UZAY.

After several delays due to poor weather conditions, the launch occurred at 09:48 GMT+3, conducted by American space technology firm Space X and aboard its Falcon 9 rocket.

Its cutting-edge features all domestically developed components, including its flight computer, communication systems, and electro-optical camera, capable of taking high-definition imagery everywhere on Earth while circling the globe at an altitude of 680 kilometers (422.5 miles).

The IMECE arrived in Vandenberg from Turkey on February 21 and was stored in a domestically-built cabin until the launch day.