Turkey unveils space program including 2023 moon mission

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has unveiled an ambitious 10-year space program for his country that includes missions to the moon and sending Turkish astronauts into space. Erdogan announced the program on Tuesday during a live televised event laced with special effects. He said Turkey planned to establish “a first contact with the moon” in 2023, when the country marks the centennial of the founding of the Turkish republic. Erdogan said the first stage of the mission would be “through international cooperation,” while the second stage would utilize Turkish rockets. The program is seen as part of the president’s vision for placing Turkey in expanded regional and global role.