Turkey’s second astronaut successfully completed his mission

Tuva Cihangir Atasever, who took off on June 8 on Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity spaceplane, which flew for the last time, returned to Earth after successfully completing his experiments.

Virgin Galactic took Turkey’s second astronaut Tuva Cihangir Atasever and three crew members, as well as a total of six people into sub-orbital space on Saturday, June 8, on the last flight of the VSS Unity spaceplane. Atasever’s journey lasted 1 hour and 10 minutes as part of the mission named “Galactic 07”. VSS Unity lifted off at 08.30 a.m. US local time (17.30 p.m. PT) and landed at 09.40 a.m. US local time (18.40 p.m. PT).

Atasever returns, VSS Unity retired

Tethered to the belly of the carrier aircraft Eve, VSS Unity lifted off from the Spaceport runway and reached an altitude of 13,582 meters after about an hour. VSS Unity then separated from the carrier vehicle and fired its rocket engine to carry the crew into suborbital space, reaching an altitude of 87.5 km in a few minutes. It was also the last flight for Unity, which has flown seven times so far. VSS Unity will be replaced by Virgin Galactic’s new “Delta” class spacecraft, which will be launched in 2026.

Turkish Space Agency astronaut Tuva Atasever said that the view of Earth after the flight was indescribable: “I will need a lot more time to digest what just happened. This is not something you can describe with adjectives. It’s experiential… you just feel it inside you.”

Atasever’s journey aboard Galactic 07 was organized by Axiom Space, the company that flew the first Turkish astronaut, Alper Gezeravcı, to the International Space Station with SpaceX on a special Ax-3 mission earlier this year.

Turkey’s second astronaut Tuva Cihangir Atasever, who successfully completed the suborbital research flight, unfurled Turkish and Azerbaijani flags after his space journey. Atasever said that he carried out this mission not as an individual but as a representative of two states. Underlining that the flight was a scientific mission, Atasever said, “This was an incredible journey and just the beginning of something much bigger.”

Experiments conducted

As part of the BEACON brain imaging experiment, Atasever wore a near-infrared spectroscopy measuring device on his head during all phases of the flight. Thus, the blood distribution in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain and the dynamics of the spinal fluid were monitored for 1.5 hours.

In the IvmeRad Radiation Dosimeter experiment, information on how much radiation he was exposed to was obtained. Thus, information was collected on how much ionizing radiation people who will go to different space stations to be built in the future will be exposed to instantaneously. In this experiment, a smart radiation dosimeter developed with domestic facilities was used for the first time in a space test.

With the Insulin Pen Test (UZİKAT), it was observed how effectively 2 different insulin pens placed in a special box could transfer the relevant dose in a microgravity environment. Thus, the first step was taken for individuals with diabetes to go to space stations in the future.

Within the scope of the “Vesicle Analysis in Suborbital Flight (YUVA)” experiment, extracellular vesicles in the biological samples to be collected from Atasever before and after the flight were isolated by means of a specially developed microfluidic chip. In this way, the potential for developing adaptation therapies that can be applied before astronauts go into space in the future will be investigated. Atasever also conducted the MESSAGE, METABOLOM and MIYELOID experiments in Alper Gezeravcı‘s mission.

Ece Nagihan

Hi, I'm Ece. I am a writer for Expat Guide Turkey and I strive to create the best content for you. To contact me, you can send an e-mail to Happy reading!

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