On 8 September 2016, Mr. Yuichi Yamaura, Vice President of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and H.E. Dr. Cihan Kanlıgöz, Director General of the Aeronautics and Space Technologies, the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications of the Republic of Turkey, signed a new Cooperation Arrangement concerning the utilisation of the Japanese Experiment Module (Kibo) on the International Space Station (ISS).
The cooperative arrangement will offer opportunities to deploy a Turkish-built cube satellite (CubeSat) from the Kibo module and to conduct space experiments in an exposed environment using the Exposed Experiment Handrail Attachment Mechanism called ExHAM on board Kibo. The CubeSat is called UBAKUSAT and is being built by the Istanbul Technical University (İTÜ). According to Turkish newspaper the Daily Sabah, the Turkish Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications, Mr. Ahmet Arslan said, “We have launched bilateral experiment process. Apart from satellites, we also experiment on new space material which was also created by İTÜ on Japanese space stations. We will soon hand over to the Japanese Minister a new material to have it tested on their space station.”
With this agreement, both the Turkish and Japanese parties intend to promote concrete cooperation based on the experience in the field of space technology and its utilisation that JAXA has amassed over the years. Both parties will discuss further ways to enhance the collaborative relationship in such areas as support for the establishment of a space agency, which the Republic of Turkey aims to do, and the promotion of capacity-building activities.
The signing ceremony of the Agreement was held in Ankara, Turkey, in the presence of H.E. Yosuke Tsuruho, Minister of State for Space Policy, the Cabinet Office of Japan, and H.E. Ahmet Arslan, the Turkish Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications.
Quoted in the Daily Sabah, Mr. Arslan said, “We have observed concrete progress in the space collaboration of Turkey and Japan since the agreement signed between Japanese Cabinet Office and ministries of Education, Culture and Technologies and Turkey’s Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication in 2010.”