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Umut Yıldız Left NASA

One of our country’s leading names in space-related studies, Dr. Umut Yılmaz was born in Istanbul in 1982. Yılmaz, who said that he was interested in space from a young age, entered the Department of Astronomy and Space Sciences at Ankara University in 2000. During his university years, his interest in Astronomy increased. After completing his undergraduate education with this passion, he started his master’s degree at the University of Groningen. He worked in the field of astrophysics here. He continued his education with a doctorate program at Leiden University in 2007. Yıldız, who completed his doctorate on astrochemistry and molecular astrophysics, received his doctorate in 2011. He continued to work as a postdoctoral research assistant at Leiden University. In 2013, he went to the USA and started working as an engineer in the field of deep space communications at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Yıldız, who left the institution after a long time and decided to return to Turkey and continue her studies in our country, said: “I saw projects at the latest level of technology, we sent vehicles to other planets, I had the opportunity to use giant telescopes, we made very interesting discoveries by working in teams of hundreds of people, press releases.” We published it. I think it’s time to open up to new excitements. Of course, I will continue to work on space. “More than that, I witness the space-related potential of young people in Turkey, I am excited and happy for them… See you in the future,” he said. He announced that he would start working at Plan-S company in Turkey.

Regarding Turkey’s space travel, he said: “I think more advanced projects need to emerge now. Yes, there is a moon project. But, for example, a project that will go to Mars should at least be talked about. “Just imagine, if a secondary school student today heard about the idea of a vehicle that will go to Mars in ten or fifteen years, he might say, ‘I want to build this vehicle,'” he said, emphasizing that the projects and budgeting processes in question should be accelerated.
He thinks that Turkey is neither too advanced nor too low in the space race. “For example, until now in Turkey, we had always had all TÜRKSAT satellites built outside, and our engineers went abroad to support their construction in Turkey. However, TÜRKSAT 6A is currently being built in Turkey, and ninety-five percent of the satellites of the space company I currently work for are being built at the center in Ankara Bilkent CYBERPARK. This company alone will send several hundred satellites into space in the coming years. “It is a great chance that all of these are being done in Turkey and we have the people who can do this,” he says.
In addition to all these, Umut Yıldız says, “One of my other goals is to build science centers in Turkey.” He says that he will start working with the INFINIA company to build science centers in different regions of Turkey in the coming years to spread science.

Mysterious Supernova

Scientists announced that the mystery of this Supernova, which occurred in our neighboring galaxy in 1987 and caused the death of stars, had been solved, and claimed that the supernova actually took place 160 thousand years ago. Whether or not this explosion occurred inside a neutron star remained a mystery for thirty years. This event was recorded as the first supernova visible to the naked eye since 1604 (before the invention of the telescope). It was also announced that the Supernova emitted energy equal to 100 million Sun’s energy. Recent research with NASA’s James Webb telescope has determined that a neutron star was at the center of this supernova. It is stated that this neutron star has a huge density; A piece the size of a teaspoon is estimated to weigh 10 million tons. According to the theory, when stars run out of fuel required for the nuclear reactions that make them shine, they collapse and form the densest matter in the Universe. This is a Neutron Star, but if it is even larger, there is a possibility that it is a Black Hole. It was a matter of debate whether the object in question at the center of the Supernova was a Neutron Star or a Black Hole. But researchers say they have found evidence that it is a Neutron Star.
Research leader, Stockholm University Professor Claes Fransson: “This is the first time the content of the center of a Supernova has been investigated.” We now know that there is a compact source of ionizing radiation, most likely originating from a neutron star. “We were looking for this since the moment of the explosion, but we had to wait to confirm the predictions.”
The team also states that they will continue to monitor the Supernova area to examine the explosion in detail.

The purple object in the center is the neutron star mentioned.

Jupiter’s Moon Europa Produces 1,000 Tons of Oxygen Per Day

Europa, Jupiter’s fourth largest moon, is thought to have a salty ocean under its shiny and icy crust. With this assumption, Europa is thought to be one of the most habitable places in our Solar system. It is not known exactly whether there is enough oxygen in this ocean. According to information from NASA’s Juno spacecraft, it was revealed that Europa produces 1000 tons of oxygen per day. The formation process of this production is different from what happens on Earth. Photosynthesis carried out by plants, plankton and bacteria on Earth pumps oxygen into the atmosphere. On Europa, charged particles coming from space bombard Europa’s icy shell, splitting the frozen water into hydrogen and oxygen molecules. This means that oxygen spreads into the atmosphere.

It produces 1000 tons of oxygen per day

According to data obtained from the Juno spacecraft, Europa produces approximately 12 kilograms of oxygen per second and 1000 tons of oxygen per day. This is the amount that will meet the daily oxygen needs of one million people. But when we spread this amount across the planet, it is not enough for life.

What the researchers focused on during their measurements was not oxygen directly. The amount of hydrogen molecules escaping from the satellite was measured with the JADE instrument on the Juno spacecraft. Afterwards, a conclusion could be made about oxygen. The research can confirm the amount of oxygen formed in the ice, but it doesn’t help determine how much of that oxygen escapes into the atmosphere.

The European Space Agency’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, which is expected to reach the Jovian system in 2031, aims to confirm the existence and size of Europa’s ocean. NASA’s Europa Clipper mission, planned to be launched in October, will investigate how the moon’s icy crust interacts with the water beneath it.

The Experiment Conducted by Alper Gezeravcı with Microalgae Has Concluded

One of the experiments conducted by Alper Gezeravcı at the International Space Station, titled “Microalgal Life Support Units for Space Missions” (UzMAn), has concluded. The UzMAn experiment has provided evidence that microalgae convert enriched carbon dioxide into oxygen in a microgravity environment. Examination at Bogazici University following the arrival of the ISS experiment samples to Earth revealed that algae have the ability to convert three to five times more carbon dioxide into oxygen than those found in closed environments on Earth. This finding is crucial for the development of life support systems in space and the production of oxygen required for long-duration space missions.

Three different types of microalgae, two of which were isolated from the poles and one capable of living in both fresh and saltwater, were tested in the experiment. Berat Haznedaroğlu, who provided information about the experiment process and its initial results, stated, “On the final day of the experiment, Alper Bey transferred the microalgae species to the protective solution we prepared, ensuring their preservation in that state. The algae were brought back to Earth via the cold chain, and our samples arrived at Bogazici University.” Haznedaroğlu also mentioned the addition of a carbon monoxide enrichment unit developed by researchers at TÜBİTAK MAM to the experiment. Regarding the initial result of the experiment, he said, “We increased the carbon dioxide level, which is approximately 500 units per million, to about 2,000 to 2,500 units per million. We observed that the carbon dioxide at these levels decreased by about one-third. Our reactors were small, with a total volume of 30 milliliters, and we can say that they had a high performance in converting to oxygen. With the UzMan experiment, we have demonstrated that we can use our algae in air purification.”

Capable of converting all the carbon dioxide consumed by three crew members in a day into oxygen

Berat Haznedaroğlu stated that all three tested microalgae species performed well, indicating that they have included them among the algae species that could be used in future missions. He also added, “When adequately scaled, a medium-sized microalgae reactor actually has the potential to convert all the carbon dioxide consumed by three crew members in a day into oxygen, our studies show that.”

Food production will be examined in the second stage

Haznedaroğlu stated that algae could be used for producing functional food that strengthens astronauts’ immune systems and meets their energy needs. He mentioned that this would be examined in the second stage:

“In the second stage of the experiment, we will metabolically examine the algae and understand which functional food products can be obtained most. We will also scientifically demonstrate which mechanisms contribute more to the conversion to oxygen. Human needs are entirely the same. There are energy and food needs. Plants grown for other experiments in space need fertilizers. When animals need them, they can be used as feed. We have obtained important data for very different commercial applications such as the acquisition of valuable metals and hydrogen production.”

This Week In Our Art Corner

Abandoned Soviet Space Shuttle

We see the Buran shuttle in this video, where you will watch images of the abandoned assembly and fuel complex building from the Soviet Union period in Kazakhstan. After being stored at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for 5 years, the ceiling of the hangar collapsed during restoration, and Buran 1.01, the only shuttle of the Buran project that went into space, and the Energia rocket set were destroyed. Additionally, 7 people died in this incident. In this short video that you will watch with this information, you can closely feel the tension and sadness with the awareness of the desolation of the environment and the bad past behind it.