Virtual Mars Mission Team Technical Visit

On December 7, 2022, by the Mars on Earth Project (MoEP), a technical visit was organized to Istanbul Technical University (ITU) Space Systems Design and Test Laboratory (USTTL).

The purpose of the visit as a brief;

  • To see the physical facilities and capabilities of the Space Systems Design and Test Laboratory (USTTL) within ITU,
  • To obtain information directly and from the source about the latest developments in amateur satellite technologies produced in TÜRKİYE,
  • To raise awareness of space exploration and satellite technology among students of different ages who participate in space and Mars studies with MoEP,
  • To obtain information about deep space and satellite communication systems and their functioning, which is essential for the Virtual Mars Mission.

Together with the students of Erol Altaca Schools – Space Technologies and Amateur Radio Club (MARS 34-1), we participated in the trip as MoEP’s first Virtual Mars Mission (BURAK-1) team consisting of an all-female crew.

USTTL was established in 2007 with the support of the Faculty of Aeronautics and Astronautics and ITU Rectorate within the scope of cube satellite development activities initiated in 2005 in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and has achieved successful works since its establishment.

uydu lab

Image – Part of the room where a series of studies and tests of amateur satellites took place. (Image Credit: MoEP)

USTTL also provides services to domestic and foreign satellite and subsystem developers.

USTTL, which is well known by many radio amateurs and satellite enthusiasts with the work of the ITUpSAT-1 satellite, which was launched in 2009 and is still active in orbit; it has been fascinating times for us to visit this laboratory where ITUpSAT-1 and later satellites are produced, to touch the satellite structures, to see the test environments closely and to learn about their working principles, and to learn that the TÜRKİYE Flag was sent to the International Space Station (ISS) for the first time thanks to the study in this laboratory.

The excitement and enthusiasm for learning in the eyes of the young students were just as worth seeing.

We are honored to have the chance to observe the satellite technologies studies and actively ongoing projects in TÜRKİYE in parallel with the developments in the world.

I would like to express that MoEP gives particular importance to the training of participating crews in different -primarily technical- subjects outside their own interests within the scope of Virtual Mars Missions.

For this purpose, before the missions started, we visited many unique areas and working groups, and we were guests at the meetings of radio amateurs as a team in the past few days.

It was very beneficial to consolidate the theoretical training we received on-site and practically, like this laboratory visit.

All of our notes and questions about satellite and space communication in theoretical training were explained by USTTL personnel on satellite models and components.

At the end of a beautiful and exciting trip, we presented our gifts to USTTL by the Erol Altaca Schools team and the MoEP-Virtual Mars Mission Team, and then we ended our visit.

We thank Prof.Dr.Alim Rustem ASLAN and the ITU-USTTL team, who hosted a very crowded group despite their intense working schedule, for the valuable information they have given us, their educational presentations, their close interest in the laboratory areas, and their hospitality, and we wish them continued success.

Beğen  5
Tuğçe Celayir

Uzman moleküler biyolog, Dünyadaki Mars Projesi gönüllüsü, MoEP-Amerika Koordinatörü, MoEP-Botanik Takımı üyesi ve yazarı. (M.Sc. Molecular biologist, Mars on Earth Project community volunteer, MoEP-US Coordinator, MoEP-Botanic team member and author.)

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