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A Historic Week Full of Space in Bursa

Bursa was the home of an important event that will go down in the history of space and aviation. Hosted by Bursa Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (BTSO) GUHEM, Turkey's first space and aviation themed interactive training center, and Bursa Business School, a reference training center for the business world, 70 astronauts and cosmonauts from 19 countries met in Bursa for 5 days. Scientists who came to Bursa for the Planetary Congress of the Association of Space Explorers (ASE) visited GUHEM, one of the world's leading space and aviation centers. Nearly 60 thousand students who participated on site and online in the 'Science Meeting' enjoyed the experiences of astronauts and cosmonauts in space.

GUHEM, Turkey's first space and aviation themed interactive training center, put its signature under an important event that will go down in history. GUHEM, which was realized with the support of Bursa Metropolitan Municipality in cooperation with BTSO and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK), hosted the Planetary Congress organized by ASE, the Association of Space Explorers. Between September 25-29, astronauts and cosmonauts, who made a name for themselves with their work in space, carried out important projects to increase space awareness at the congress held in Bursa.

Over 70 Astronauts from 19 Countries

More than 70 astronauts from 19 countries, including American Victor Grover, the pilot of the Artemis II mission to orbit the Moon, Chinese Junlong Fei, who spent a total of 191 days in space in two missions, Russian Cosmonaut Sergei Andeev, who spent 747 days in space, and Astronaut Julie Payette, former Governor General of Canada, as well as leading names in space studies, took part in the congress. The technical sessions of the event, which brought together the world's most prestigious names in the field, were held at the Bursa Business School Uludağ Campus, the training and development center of the business world implemented by BTSO.  The congress, which was opened on Monday, September 25 by the Minister of Industry and Technology Mehmet Fatih Kacır with the attendance of protocol and scientists, was hosted by our country for the first time.

Bursa Talked Space

At the summit, important names such as TÜBİTAK President Prof. Dr. Hasan Mandal, TUA President Serdar Hüseyin Yıldırım, Türksat CEO Hüseyin Ertok, Plan-S CEO Tugay Güzel, TÜBİTAK Space Institute Deputy Director Alime Yıldırım and Delta V General Manager Arif Karabeyoğlu shared their knowledge and experiences in technical sessions. The congress, which included important names in the field of space and aviation, also played an important role in introducing Bursa to the world.

Turkey's First Space Travelers Also in Bursa

Turkey's first space travelers Alper Gezeravcı and Tuva Atasever met with space enthusiasts as part of the Türkiye's Future Projection session. In addition, world-renowned astronauts such as Michael Lopez Alegria, Thomas Marshburn, Fei Junlong, John D. Olivas, Anton Shkaplerov, Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov took part in the sessions on New Space Economy and Studies in Earth Orbit and Beyond.

A theme worthy of the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Türkiye: "The Future is in the Skies"

The theme of this great event, which was held in Bursa on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey, was defined by the quotation of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of our Republic, "The future is in the sky". In the unique organization, which is also a historical congress for the country, many activities such as science and society meetings, seminars, interviews and student meetings on online platforms as well as technical sessions on space were organized for 5 days.

Astronauts and Cosmonauts at GUHEM

Within the scope of the Bursa program, astronauts and cosmonauts also visited GUHEM, one of the world's few space-themed training centers. The astronauts, who tested the interactive devices and flight simulators, expressed their admiration for GUHEM with the statement "There is no other center like this in the world". Scientists also met with students during their visit to GUHEM.

Giant Reunion of 60 Thousand People

Astronauts also met with citizens and students at Merinos Atatürk Congress and Culture Center Osmangazi Hall as part of 'Science-Society' activities. The 2-hour-long organization was followed by 1,700 people physically and 60 thousand people online. In the program, astronauts and cosmonauts shared their knowledge and experiences about space with the participants.

Order of Leonov for Burkay

At the event, İbrahim Burkay, Chairman of the Board of Directors of BTSO, was awarded the Leonov Order, one of the prestigious awards given by ASE, from the hands of Reinhold Ewald, President of the Association of Space Explorers ASE. Planetary Congress will be held next year in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. At the closing ceremony of the event, İsmail Akbay from Bursa, the first Turkish engineer of NASA, was not forgotten. Nazlı Varol, Akbay's niece, received the award honoring the memory of İsmail Akbay.

An Event That Made History

İbrahim Burkay, Chairman of the Board of Directors of BTSO, said that since the day he took office in 2013, they have carried out important activities to raise awareness on space and aviation technologies. Stating that there is a great competition in the field of space in the world and that they have taken steps to ensure that the Bursa business world does not miss this transformation process, Burkay also said that they wish to create this awareness in the new generation. Expressing that the most important outcome of the work they started with the vision of 'Why should the Astronaut of Türkiye not come from Bursa' is GUHEM, which was established in partnership with TÜBİTAK and in cooperation with Bursa Metropolitan Municipality, Burkay said that the center continues its work with the mission of training qualified human resources in the field of space and aviation. İbrahim Burkay stated that GUHEM, which was established in Bursa as Europe's largest space, aviation and experience center in its domain, has also made a name for itself with qualified organizations that make a strong impression on an international level, and said that a giant program such as Planetary Congress was brought to Bursa thanks to these endeavors of GUHEM.

"Contributed to the Promotion of Turkey and Bursa"

Pointing out that very few people have had the chance to cross the space frontier until today, BTSO Chairman Burkay said, "We have dreams for Bursa. We believe that Bursa will achieve new successes in space and aviation. The fact that world-famous astronauts and cosmonauts are in Bursa is a result of these efforts. Scientists were with us in Bursa for 5 days thanks to the coordination of GUHEM and Bursa Business School. The fact that the summit abour space studies of this international association, which convened in different countries for the last 39 years, was held in Bursa, offered the opportunity to evaluate experiences and innovative initiatives on space studies. This summit is of great importance in terms of raising the awareness of our young people in the field of space and aviation. The congress, which celebrated the 100th anniversary of our Republic with the motto 'The Future is in the Skies', also made a significant contribution to the promotion of our city and our country."

| 02.10.2023 |


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