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Turkey: hybrid engine for lunar mission passes first test

A total lunar eclipse is seen from Istanbul's famous Suleymaniye Mosque on July 27, 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey [Chris McGrath/Getty Images]
A total lunar eclipse is seen from Istanbul's famous Suleymaniye Mosque on July 27, 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey [Chris McGrath/Getty Images]

Turkey has successfully tested its first hybrid engine that will be used in its planned lunar mission, the country's Minister of Technology and Industry said on Sunday. According to Anadolu, the country is planning to send the unmanned spacecraft to land on the moon in 2023 as part of the country's National Space Programme.

"Two firings happened today," explained Mustafa Varank. "One was the ignition of the engine of the 635-millimetre probe rocket, which will probably be launched next month. We also performed the ignition tests of a smaller engine that we aim to use in the lunar mission."

The General Manager of Delta V, the company building the engines, Arif Karabeyoglu, said that both performed according to expectations. "The tests of the lunar engine will continue at a faster pace from now on," he added.

Hundreds of tests will follow to ensure reliability. Karabeyoglu emphasised that the engines feature some of the most advanced hybrid rocket motor technology in the world.

READ: Turkey space programme to launch from Somalia to cost over $1bn

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