Participating in the space race and acquiring all the scientific knowledge from it will undoubtedly strengthen us If we can clearly determine both our strategy and intention from today, our likelihood of standing out in the race will increase. I believe the primary concern should be to determine our potential share of the trillion-dollar space industry in the long run. Our astronaut’s journey into space and the ensuing debate mark a timely and pivotal development!

In recent years, the space race has regained momentum. But this time, it involves not only a few countries but also a much broader spectrum of participants, including commercial companies, from around the world. We are talking about a commercial market that is poised to reach a volume of USD 1 trillion soon.

Countries can uphold their economic, strategic, and military superiority as long as they keep the innovation going. Meanwhile, the technological advancements and innovations occurring are bringing about incredible transformations in our lives. Space-related activities and studies have succeeded in moving countries and entire civilizations forward by pioneering numerous fundamental inventions and technological developments. This acceleration and intensity of research in recent years will undoubtedly lead to many other advances that are currently beyond our foresight.

As the most concrete outcome of its intention to participate in this race, Türkiye sent its first Turkish astronaut into space last month. Every step in the field of space holds significant meaning in this vast arena, where the foundational blocks are currently being laid. If we can clearly determine both our strategy and intention today, our likelihood of standing out in the race will increase. Participating in the space race and acquiring all the scientific knowledge from it will undoubtedly strengthen us. The foundation of every innovation and breakthrough begins with a dream. Our astronaut has bestowed upon us a beautiful dream. Now comes the time to put in the effort.


One of the objectives of the space economy is to enhance the services utilized on Earth. As the communication and imaging demands of 8 billion people increase, significantly larger communication services will be necessary. We rely on satellites for earth imaging, various communications, and weather monitoring. Without satellites, many activities, from bank ATMs to credit card approvals, from international video calls to communication in remote locations, would be impossible. Landlines are often inadequate for internet services in many cases. The utilization of satellites in agriculture has become exceedingly crucial. Accessing information such as the condition of cultivated areas and air movements through satellites can significantly enhance agricultural productivity. Additionally, satellites offer solutions to address the escalating fires resulting from climate change. Energy companies have started to proactively monitor vegetation formations that could lead to fires. In transportation, satellites can be utilized to monitor the status of ships and cargo.

Another crucial aspect of space exploration is the potential for research and development models to be more successful in environments devoid of gravity. Indeed, fascinating research has been conducted on the International Space Station thus far. One notable discovery is that proteins crystallize much more uniformly in space. This phenomenon enables researchers from pharmaceutical companies to conduct more successful drug trials. It is believed that significant efficiency gains can be achieved in the production of semiconductors in a gravity-free and gas-free environment. In the future, factories established in space could produce much more efficient processors. The research, development, and production potential achievable in earth orbit alone could reach billions of dollars.

Our astronaut conducted 13 scientific experiments in space. These experiments are as follows:

1) Research on next-generation alloys for space

2) Examination of solid fluids in a gravity-free environment

3) Development of a microalgal life support unit for space crews

4) Examination of the Salt Lake plant in space environment

5) Examination of physiological and biochemical changes of astronauts in space

6) Investigating the effects of space radiation on cancer

7) Comparison of space and Antarctic conditions

8) Investigation of genes affected by the non-gravity environment

9) Investigating the gene efficiency of plants in microgravity

10) Investigation of the antibacterial effect of propolis

11) Investigation of the disorders lack of gravity may cause in the vocal cords

12) Effects research of microgravity on lead-free soldering process

13) Air oxygen level research with artificial intelligence support

These research endeavours have the potential to contribute not only to Turkish science but also to the scientific research of the entire world.


I believe one of the objectives of the race is to compete for space exploration and dominance beyond Earth’s atmosphere. There are numerous satellites in Earth’s orbit tasked with collecting information for defence purposes. All countries with satellites in orbit are likely monitoring each other’s activities. Mining is indeed another intriguing topic. It is projected that by 2030, we will require 50 per cent more energy than today. Fusion technology is a revolutionary technology that enables us to generate energy without polluting the environment. The Moon contains Helium-3, a substance crucial for nuclear fusion.  While nuclear fusion has thus far been primarily theoretical, a startup has emerged with claims of realizing a nuclear fusion reactor by 2027. India states that the purpose of its mission to the Moon’s south pole is to extract minerals. So far, the United States, Russia, China, Japan, and India have successfully landed equipment on the south pole of the Moon.

Türkiye’s plan is to achieve a hard landing on the Moon for the first time in 2026. There is a plan to execute a soft landing and deploy a rover to the Moon within the next 5-6 years. Another example of the space race is the development of a cislunar highway, which would serve as a route for travel between Earth and the Moon. Those who establish control over this highway, the primary route between Earth and the Moon, where many satellites and communication systems are situated, will be at the forefront of deep space exploration. We can consider this highway as the gateway for voyages to other planets within the Solar System, particularly Mars. Indeed, the United States, Russia, and China have conducted numerous expeditions beyond our orbit. There are also aspirations for human-involved expeditions.


One of the main issues in space is determining ownership of resources beyond Earth. There are no boundaries on the Moon or Mars as there are on Earth. According to the agreement signed by 114 countries in 1967, all assets acquired in space belong to all humanity. However, this law is largely theoretical in nature. Countries that can reach the moon or beyond will access these resources and begin to use all these resources without being accountable to others. In other words, we can say that the law is unlikely to be physically enforced. This underscores the importance of Türkiye being included in this scenario to safeguard its interests.


What is important here is not actually the size of the number, but how big and meaningful your dreams are. Let us examine the space expenditures of countries: The Japanese Moon landing mission cost USD 120 million. SpaceX’s initial capital investment was USD 100 million, with its current annual budget ranging from USD 2 to 3 billion. Its market value is currently USD 180 billion. The total expenditure for the entire Russian space program in 2024 is estimated to be around USD 2.6 billion. When we compare the USD 55 million spent on our astronauts and our annual space budget of TRY 1.7 billion with these figures, we realize that our space program is actually quite modest in scale.


While the space economy was historically dominated by states, defence contractors, and aerospace companies for many years, the sector has witnessed the entry of unexpected players with the advancement of technology. Costs have decreased significantly over the last decade, prompting governments and state-supported research institutions to transfer their budgets to private companies instead of conducting the research themselves. In recent years, the space industry has become a serious sector as investment and venture capital firms have recognized its potential profitability and increased investment in the field.

Today, there are approximately 100 companies worldwide solely dedicated to launching satellites into orbit. The cost of sending payloads into space used to be USD 65,000 per kilogram, but today it has dropped significantly to USD 1,500. As of December 2023, China boasts approximately 400 space companies, with a trade volume of USD 140 billion. India has also made significant strides in satellite technology, with around 80 Indian companies involved not only in satellite launches but also in data evaluation obtained from satellites. It is estimated that their combined total volume will reach USD 77 billion by 2030.

Companies dedicated to research and development in space-related fields have started to emerge in Türkiye. Some of the major names in the emerging Turkish space industry include DeltaV, Fergani, Hello Space, and Polar-S. These companies particularly focus on areas such as satellite constellations and launch technologies. Our country needs to formulate a strategy outlining where we will position ourselves in the rapidly expanding space market. I believe the primary concern is determining our potential share of the trillion-dollar space industry in the long run. Our astronaut’s journey into space and the ensuing debate mark a timely and pivotal development!