OMU Hosts Industry and Technology Minister Mehmet Fatih Kacır and Türkiye’s First Astronaut Alper Gezeravcı
27 March 2024, Wednesday - 11:05
Updated: 01 April 2024, Monday - 11:13
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Industry and Technology Minister Mehmet Fatih Kacır, along with the country's first astronaut, Alper Gezeravcı, a part of the "First Manned Space Mission" under the National Space Program, met with students of Ondokuz Mayıs University (OMU) at the "Youth Meeting."

The event was held at the Yaşar Doğu Faculty of Sport Sciences Prof. Dr. Mehmet Yalçın Taşmektepligil Sports Hall. In addition to Industry and Technology Minister Mehmet Fatih Kacır and Alper Gezeravcı, the gathering was attended by the Governor of Samsun Orhan Tavlı, AK Party Deputy Chairman and Samsun Deputy Çiğdem Karaaslan, AK Party Samsun Deputy Orhan Kırcalı, Mayor of Samsun Metropolitan Municipality Mustafa Demir, OMU Rector Prof. Dr. Yavuz Ünal, Samsun University (SAMÜ) Rector Prof. Dr. Mahmut Aydın, OMU Vice Rectors Prof. Dr. Selim Eren, Prof. Dr. Sevim Alışır, and Prof. Dr. Murat Terzi, OMU Secretary General Prof. Dr. İdris Varıcı, Rector Advisors Prof. Dr. Nalan Kızıltan, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Gökhan Demir, and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Şener Şentürk, as well as academics, administrative staff, and numerous students.

Minister Kacır: “Türkiye is Among the Top 4 Countries in the World in Hybrid Rocket Motor Technology”

Speaking at the program, Industry and Technology Minister Mehmet Fatih Kacır stated, "We are exploring ways to launch our own satellites into space with our technology and are developing projects for this. Türkiye is among the first four countries in the world in hybrid rocket motor technology."

Minister Kacır, in his speech at the "Youth Meeting" held at the OMU Yaşar Doğu Faculty of Sport Sciences Mehmet Yalçın Taşmektepligil Sports Hall with Türkiye's first astronaut Alper Gezeravcı, mentioned that Türkiye has joined the race in space technologies with its National Space Program.

Pointing out that Türkiye has become capable of developing its satellites over the last 22 years, Kacır said, "Today, 80,000 young Turks, Turkish engineers, and Turkish technicians are working in the defense industry. Together, we will build a similar ecosystem in the space sector. We are exploring ways to launch our satellites into space with our technology and are developing projects for this. Türkiye is among the first four countries in the world in hybrid rocket motor technology."

“We Will Reach the Moon by Firing Our National Hybrid Rocket Motor on Our Own Spacecraft”

Minister Kacır highlighted that both ROKETSAN and Delta V have successfully developed technologies capable of reaching space independently, stating, "God willing, we will also reach our satellites into space with our own means. IMECE, a 600-kilogram satellite, is operating at 600 kilometers. TÜRKSAT 6A, a 4,250-kilogram satellite, will operate at 36,000 kilometers. God willing, we will reach the Moon, 380,000 kilometers away, by firing our national hybrid rocket motor on our own spacecraft. We will achieve this with you."

Kacır mentioned that following the goal announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2021, efforts began to send one person from Türkiye into space, continuing:

"36,000 citizens from Türkiye said, 'I want to be an astronaut.' Among them, comprehensive tests and selections were conducted. Eventually, Alper Gezeravcı, who serves as a jet pilot in the Turkish Air Force, made the space journey with our star and crescent flag. This is a scientific mission because the destination is the International Space Station, actually a science laboratory. We are talking about an infrastructure where nearly 3,000 scientific experiments have been conducted to date. Scientific studies have been carried out in many fields, from material science to physics, chemistry to medicine, biology."

“Alper Gezeravcı Successfully Conducted 13 Scientific Experiments”

Minister Kacır emphasized that Gezeravcı successfully conducted 13 scientific experiments prepared by Turkish scientists and researchers over the course of 18 days, stating:

"This success signifies the opening of a new chapter for the Turkish science world and means that our scientists can compete with the most advanced work in the world in their research and projects. This means that no action has been left unattempted by our scientists and researchers. In this respect, we see this mission as very valuable, but the main purpose of this mission is the inspiration and self-confidence it provides to you, the Turkish youth, the TEKNOFEST generation, and our 27 million children under the age of 21."

Rector Ünal: “As OMU, We Are Determined and Eager to Fulfill Our Responsibility”

Expressing that the new generation, which he described as the TEKNOFEST generation, has changed Turkish history with their work and skills, OMU Rector Prof. Dr. Yavuz Ünal stated, “Under the leadership of our President, with the policies produced and the work conducted, our youth have gained knowledge, skills, and confidence, starting to sign works that are admired all over the world. A generation that was wanted to be sidelined with the Z generation description deserved to be defined as the TEKNOFEST generation and changed the course of Turkish history. From here, the ideal of the Turkish century emerged. You have contributed to this process with TEKNOFESTs from the beginning, and we are grateful to you as a nation; as a university, we are determined and eager to fulfill our responsibilities.”

Rector Ünal: “OMU is Steadily Advancing Towards Becoming an International University”

Celebrating its 49th anniversary, OMU has been developing policies considering the changes in science, technology, and methodology with an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit, and is steadily advancing towards becoming an international university by renewing itself, said Rector Prof. Dr. Yavuz Ünal, adding:

“As a result of the revision in education, research, and community service policies, and the determination in practice, OMU has received the institutional accreditation certificate from the Higher Education Quality Council (YÖKAK) in 2021; has been awarded the 'Higher Education Innovation and Success Award' in 2023; has been identified and observed as a 'Candidate Research University.' OMU has also raised its position by 11 places to 35th in the Entrepreneurial and Innovative Universities Index of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK), ranked 26th in URAP (University Ranking by Academic Performance), 21st in Webometrics, 18th in the Effective Universities Ranking, and has been among the top 10 universities in patenting and commercialization of patents. Aiming to create a Research and Development (R&D) culture, OMU has valued supporting undergraduate research, consequently ranking fifth twice in 2022 with 114 projects and ninth among universities with 176 projects in the 2023/2 period in TÜBİTAK undergraduate supports.”

“2023 is the Year of Digital Transformation for OMU”

Rector Ünal, defining 2023 as the year of digital transformation, stated that OMU has moved its services to the digital platform, concluding his words as follows:

“Providing quality health services to every layer of society, OMU establishes relationships within a win-win principle with all sectors producing in the region, either by undertaking their R&D or by consulting to make production more efficient and profitable. It has also fulfilled its duty to provide the necessary training for industrial workers and will continue to do so. Defining 2023 as the year of digital transformation, OMU has digitized its services. It has developed a mobile application that is available in markets under the name 'Jop Social,' which is completely domestic. This application facilitates access to expertise and strives to offer internship and job opportunities to those concerned.”

Türkiye's first astronaut, Gezeravcı: "I am proud that this mission coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Türkiye"

Türkiye's pride in space, our first astronaut, Alper Gezeravcı, shared with OMU students the distance Türkiye has covered in her space journey, his experiences during this process, and the scientific experiments he conducted in space.

stated that this moment was unforgettable for him and that this mission was not only his success but the success of all Türkiye. Referring to the confident strides towards our country's goals in space, Gezeravcı expressed his pride in not only being Türkiye's first astronaut but also that this mission coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Türkiye.

Gezeravcı expresses gratitude to OMU

Gezeravcı thanked OMU for their support during his space mission, highlighting the significant contributions of the scientific experiments and research conducted in space to the advancement of Türkiye in science and technology.

"We need the dynamism, creativity, and potential of the youth"

In his speech, Gezeravcı also addressed the youth, emphasizing the necessity of their dynamism, creativity, and potential for Türkiye to achieve its goals in science and technology. Türkiye’s first astronaut added that by encouraging them, future scientists would have the strength to overcome the challenges they may face.

The event concluded with students asking questions to Alper Gezeravcı and the presentation of gifts.

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