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2nd Turkish space traveler expresses sorrow over suffering of Palestinians

June 9, 2024 at 4:43 pm

The second Turkish astronaut Tuva Cihangir Atasever, wearing a badge in the shape of a watermelon slice, the symbol of Palestine speaks to press as he arrives following the landing of Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity on June 08, 2024 [Celal Güneş – Anadolu Agency]

Turkiye’s second space traveler Tuva Cihangir Atasever on Saturday expressed sorrow over the suffering of Palestinians, Anadolu Agency reports.

“The suffering experienced by the Palestinian people is a situation our world’s beauty does not deserve,” said Atasever.

Atasever said he carried the Palestinian scarf “keffiyeh” with him during his suborbital mission on Saturday.

“Looking down at Earth from there, I observed the thinness of the atmosphere and the interconnectedness of the ecosystem in which we live,” he said, adding: “We must live in harmony with the other members living within this ecosystem.”

He said that during the space journey, he also wore the watch that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave him on May 19.

“Our flight proceeded smoothly. From a scientific experiment standpoint, I can confidently say that we accomplished all our objectives,” he added.

Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity, carrying a six-person Galactic 07 mission team, including the second Turkish space traveler Tuva Cihangir Atasever, completed a suborbital flight by landing on Earth at 9.40 a.m. local time (1540GMT) in the US.

VMS Eve aircraft, which carried the VSS Unity, took off at around 8.30 a.m. local time (1430GMT) with a total of six crew members, also including three astronauts — two American and one Italian — and two pilots.

The flight lasted about 70 minutes, with the VSS Unity reaching an altitude of roughly 45,000 feet (over 13,700 meters) on a carrier aircraft; it then activated its hybrid propulsion system to rise to approximately 55 miles (90 kilometers).

Atasever served as a research astronaut aboard the spacecraft’s final flight, designated Galactic 07.

He was responsible for seven scientific experiments under microgravity conditions.

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