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First Turkish Astronaut Flies to International Space Station

Turkiye’s first astronaut, Alper Gezeravci, took off on Thursday night with the AX-3 (Axion Mission 3) crew to the International Space Station from Kennedy Air Force Base in Florida, USA. 
The rocket carrying Gezeravci was launched at 12:49 a.m. Turkish time (11:49 p.m. Bulgarian time).
The launch ceremony was watched by a large number of Turkish citizens. Many people, including journalists and foreign guests, gathered at midnight near the specially located planetarium in Kizilay Square in the capital Ankara. Spectators were able to watch the launch from a specially installed screen in the square.
Many people also followed the ceremony in Istanbul’s Taksim Square.
Planetariums in custom large tents were built by the Turkish Ministry of Industry and Technology. The entire journey of the Turkish astronaut to the International Space Station can be followed by the space engineers and scientists working at the ground station of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkiye (TÜBITAK), located in the Ankara area. The launch ceremony was also observed at a number of scientific centres in Turkey (in Konya, Bursa, Antalya, Trabzon, and Kayseri). 
The Minister of Industry and Technology, Mehmet Fatih Kacir, and a delegation of scientists arrived in the US to attend the ceremony.