The historic space flight of the second Turkish astronaut

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The second Turkish astronaut, Tuva Cihangir Atasever, is preparing to launch this afternoon, Saturday, on a historic research mission into space.

The rocket carrying Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity vehicle will take off from the Spaceport facility in the US state of New Mexico.

The missile is scheduled to launch at approximately 08:30 local time in the United States (17:30 Turkish time / 14.30 GMT).

Turkish pioneer Atasever will be part of the Galactic 07 team, which consists of six individuals, two of whom are from the United States and one from Italy, in addition to two pilots.

The flight is expected to take about an hour and 10 minutes, and the “VSS Unity” vehicle will reach an altitude of about 45,000 feet using the carrier plane, after which it will ignite its hybrid rocket engine to reach an altitude of about 90 kilometers.

During the free fall phase, which lasts about 3 minutes, Atasever plans to conduct 7 scientific experiments in a microgravity environment.

Atasever’s astronaut suit will be specially equipped to carry equipment for three scientific experiments.

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In the brain imaging experiment called “BEACON,” Atasever will wear a near-infrared spectrometer during all phases of flight to analyze fluid dynamics in the frontal cortex and cerebrospinal fluid.

In addition, the psychological changes that occur as a result of viewing the Earth from space will be analyzed.

In the “IvmeRad” radiation dosimetry experiment, data will be collected about the amount of radiation to which the astronaut is exposed, which will help predict the levels of radiation to which astronauts may be exposed in the future.

As for the insulin pen testing experiment in space, which is being conducted in cooperation between the Turkish Space Agency and Axiom Space, it aims to study the effectiveness of transporting doses in the space environment for the first time.

In the experiment to analyze extracellular vesicles, the vesicles will be isolated using a special microfluidic chip to analyze the biological changes that occur in the astronaut before and after the flight.

Atasever’s flight will witness the replay of the “MESSAGE”, “METABOLOME” and “MYELOID” experiments that were carried out on the mission of the first Turkish astronaut Alper Gezeravci.

It should be noted that last January, Turkish astronaut Alper Gezeravci conducted 13 scientific experiments during the Axiom Mission 3 mission on the International Space Station.