(Hurriyet Newspaper, 20 December 2012)
VIP's powerless to delay launch
Turks have gotten used to state VIP's coming late
to ceremonies and events. Despite having
deference on the roads and breaking speed
limits, they always seem to be late for the
ceremony. It's well known that these VIP's
keep planes waiting, but a rocket!
The launch of the Gokturk satellite, produced
by TUBITAK's Space Technologies Research
Institute (UZAY) and TUSAS and capable of
2.5 meter resolution, was planned to occur the
day before yesterday at 1813 hours (Turkey time)
from the Jiuquan Launch Center in China's
A slew of high-level VIP's, including PM
Erdogan, were invited to watch the launch live
from TUBITAK/UZAY's facility at ODTU
University in Ankara. With so many VIP's
coming the risk of it starting on time was
Hours before the launch it became apparent
that some of the VIP's would not make it on
time so their staffers set to work, requesting
that the Chinese delay the launch a bit (!).
The Chinese response was pessimistic since
the event was a scientific one, dependent on
weather and other factors.
The sheepish staffers were forced to tell their
VIP masters "get here quick or the rocket
will be gone." So the first signal received
from Gokturk-2 was essentially this one.