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Astronauts and Cosmonauts Wowed by GUHEM

Bursa is experiencing a historic week in the field of space and aviation. Within the scope of 'Planetary Congress', the 34th meeting of the Association of Space Explorers (ASE), 70 world-renowned astronauts and cosmonauts visited Gökmen Space Aviation Training Center - GUHEM, Turkey's first space and aviation themed training and experience center. The astronauts, who tested the interactive devices and flight simulators, expressed their admiration for GUHEM by saying "There is no other center like this in the world".

Hosted by Bursa Business School, a reference training center for the business world, and GUHEM, which Bursa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BTSO) realized with the support of TÜBİTAK and in cooperation with the Metropolitan Municipality, 70 astronauts and cosmonauts continue to come together with space and aviation enthusiasts from Bursa. Visiting GUHEM, one of the symbolic landmarks of Bursa with its architectural structure and technical equipment, the astronauts first signed their photographs exhibited on the memorial wall at the entrance. Astronauts and cosmonauts, who met with young people at the center and shared their space experiences, tested more than 150 interactive devices and flight simulators, and closely examined the laboratories in the center, in particular those of space innovation and aviation.

"I have never seen such a center anywhere in the world"

Astronauts and cosmonauts praised GUHEM in their reviews of the center. Astronaut Eytan Stibbe, who was selected as a special astronaut for the Axiom Mission 1 and went to the International Space Station (ISS), said that GUHEM is an extraordinary center. Stating that GUHEM is an inspiring place for people of all ages, Stibbe said, "I have never seen such a beautiful center anywhere in the world before. Maybe we can compare GUHEM with the center in Houston, USA. It is really exciting." Sharing his views on Turkey's space mission, Stibbe said, "At the beginning of next year, Turkey will send its own astronauts to the International Space Station. This experience will be inspiring for everyone in this country. We share this excitement together with the people from many countries of the world such as the USA, Canada, Russia and China here in Bursa."

"Children walking this center will see the world from space in the future"

Dutch Astronaut Andre Kuipers, who made European history by staying in space for 204 days, said that he is very happy that Turkey is a member of the space family. Stating that Bursa is hosting an important organization, Kuipers said, "We will talk about the developments in space in the international arena all week long. We are currently at GUHEM. Both the aviation and space floor are quite impressive. These centers are very important to guide new generations towards science and technology. I can say that GUHEM is a model center for the whole world. Those who will see the world from space in the future will be the children walking in this center today."

Moon Traveling Schweickart Tested Moon Simulation

During their visit to GUHEM, US Astronaut Rusty Schweickart, who was part of the Apollo 9 mission, and Victor Glover, one of the astronauts assigned by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA for the Artemis 2 mission, the first manned journey to the Moon in more than 50 years, had a chance to experience the lunar simulation at GUHEM together. The two astronauts made a joint statement and expressed their admiration for GUHEM. Glover expressed that he was glad to have the chance to visit GUHEM in Bursa and said, "This place is really impressive. Experiencing the hands-on activities here excites older children like me. Using and applying the systems here provides real learning. The experience here motivates children to learn more. It is a very special center. I am happy to have seen this place."

"A World Class Building"

US Astronaut Rusty Schweickart, who served in the Apollo 9 mission, described GUHEM as a "World Class" center. Calling the center "the best I have ever seen", Schweickart said, "It is an exciting place especially for children. The hands-on activities are not only fun but also help children get the main idea about space and aviation."

"The New Generation will be encouraged thanks to this Center"

In 1984, Anna Lee Fisher, the first astronaut mother to go into space, said GUHEM is a great center to inspire the next generation. "The young people who come here will learn about the things that have been done in the past in the field of space and gain courage for what they can achieve in the future. I decided to become an astronaut when I saw Alan Shepard, the first American in space, and I managed to become the first mother in space. I am proud to show women what they can achieve." 

Astronaut Julie Payette, former Governor General of Canada, stated that the center is an important starting point for young people to get acquainted with space and aviation and said, "There are not only simulators but also many interactive devices related to flight. Young people who come here will tend to pursue a career in this field. Soon, Turkish astronauts will also travel to space. This is just the beginning. In the future, I am sure there will be those who follow these steps."

"BTSO Imagined and Made it Happen"

Dr. Umut Yıldız, who worked at NASA, stated that BTSO crowned its vision in the field of space and aviation, which it imagined 10 years ago, with GUHEM and said, "BTSO had a dream 10 years ago. One of the most important outcomes of this dream is GUHEM. This is a magnificent center. You can find everything about space here. It has become a place where especially our children can get motivation and draw a career map for themselves and their future. I recommend every young person and every person in Turkey to come here. BTSO has a motto; 'Believe in Yourself Trust in Your Country.' We are confident in ourselves and we believe in our country. We will have a presence both on Earth and in space."

Astronauts of Türkiye at GUHEM

Alper Gezeravcı, Turkey's First Astronaut Candidate, stated that GUHEM is a world-scale center and said, "GUHEM is a visionary project that inspires our children. I would like to thank Mr. İbrahim Burkay, Chairman of the Board of Directors of BTSO, and its esteemed members for putting such a vision into action years ago and presenting such an unprecedented work not only to the children of Bursa but also to the children all over Türkiye."

Atrsonaut Candidate Tuva Cihangir Atasever said that GUHEM is a very important project for the future of Turkey. Stating that when they visit places similar to GUHEM abroad, they observe that children show great interest in places with this concept, Atasever said, "The vision put forward by BTSO is very important not only for the future of Bursa but also for the future of Türkiye as a whole. We are very honored to be here. The fact that people who have seen centers similar to GUHEM are fascinated by this place makes us very proud and happy."

Astronauts and Cosmonauts Met with Young People, 60 Thousand People Followed

World-renowned astronauts met with students at the "Science Society" event held at Merinos Atatürk Congress and Culture Center after their visit to GUHEM. The hall was completely filled with space enthusiasts who enjoyed the program where astronauts shared their space experiences for about 2 hours. The event was followed by approximately 1,700 people in the venue and more than 60 thousand viewers through online platforms.

| 28.09.2023 |


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