Thales Alenia Space to Provide Communication Transponder for AYAP-1 Lunar Research Mission

Thales Alenia Space to Provide Communication Transponder for AYAP-1 Lunar Research Mission

Thales Alenia Space (a joint venture between Thales, 67%, and Leonardo,33%) has signed a contract with TÜBITAK Space Technologies Research Institute (TÜBITAK UZAY) to provide a Communication Transponder for AYAP-1, Turkey’s first lunar mission. 

The Lunar Research Program (AYAP) is an integral part of the National Space Program led by the Turkish Space Agency, with TÜBITAK UZAY in charge of the design, development, integration, test, launch, and operations of the AYAP-1 spacecraft. With this project, Turkey aims to successfully carry out its first lunar mission and become one of the few countries that can conduct activities on the Moon with its own capabilities.

Thales Alenia Space will provide an S-Band TT&C (Tracking, Telemetry, and Command) Transponder for the AYAP-1 spacecraft, a key unit to establish a communication link between the spacecraft and the ground station. The TT&C transponder is in charge of receiving the commands sent by the ground station to control the spacecraft, and sending back the telemetry with the vital information on the status of the spacecraft. The TT&C link is also instrumental in monitoring the position of the spacecraft by measuring the distance to the ground station.

Stéphane Terranova, CEO of Thales Alenia Space in Spain said: “At Thales Alenia Space we are honoured by the confidence of TÜBITAK UZAY to provide the Communication Transponder for AYAP-1 spacecraft, a key element for the success of Turkey’s first mission to the Moon. We’re excited to contribute to the renewed ambition of humanity to explore the Earth’s natural satellite.”

Lunar communications expertise

Thales Alenia Space site in Madrid (Spain) is a center of excellence in space communications. With 35 years of experience in the design and production of satellite communication systems, payloads, and equipment for all types of space missions - from Earth orbit to deep space - it has participated in more than 650 satellites from space agencies and satellite operators worldwide and delivered 4,500 units. Building on their comprehensive heritage and expertise, Thales Alenia Space teams in Madrid are currently involved in 9 missions to the Moon providing lunar communications systems and equipment in S and X frequency bands for 4 lunar orbiters, 3 lunar landers, 1 lunar rover, and the space station Lunar Gateway.

Among these missions are KARI’s Danuri orbiter (KPLO, Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter), in orbit since 2022, the first step in South Korea's lunar exploration program; NASA’s VIPER rover (Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover), which will explore the South Pole of the Moon in search of water ice - a vital resource for establishing a sustainable human presence on the Moon; the ESPRIT module of the Lunar Gateway (European System Providing Refuelling Infrastructure and Telecommunication), a contribution of the European Space Agency (ESA) to the Artemis program led by Thales Alenia Space as prime contractor; and the lunar landers NOVA-C and Griffin in the frame of NASA’s CLPS program (Commercial Lunar Payload Services), to bring experiments to the surface of the Moon.

Click here to learn more about Thales Alenia Space's Future Technologies for Space Exploration.

Publisher: SatNow

GNSS Constellations - A list of all GNSS satellites by constellations


Satellite NameOrbit Date
BeiDou-3 G4Geostationary Orbit (GEO)17 May, 2023
BeiDou-3 G2Geostationary Orbit (GEO)09 Mar, 2020
Compass-IGSO7Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)09 Feb, 2020
BeiDou-3 M19Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M20Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M21Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M22Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 I3Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M23Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019
BeiDou-3 M24Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019


Satellite NameOrbit Date
GSAT0223MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0224MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0219MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0220MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0221MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0222MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0215MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0216MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0217MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0218MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Kosmos 2569--07 Aug, 2023
Kosmos 2564--28 Nov, 2022
Kosmos 2559--10 Oct, 2022
Kosmos 2557--07 Jul, 2022
Kosmos 2547--25 Oct, 2020
Kosmos 2545--16 Mar, 2020
Kosmos 2544--11 Dec, 2019
Kosmos 2534--27 May, 2019
Kosmos 2529--03 Nov, 2018
Kosmos 2527--16 Jun, 2018


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Navstar 82Medium Earth Orbit19 Jan, 2023
Navstar 81Medium Earth Orbit17 Jun, 2021
Navstar 78Medium Earth Orbit22 Aug, 2019
Navstar 77Medium Earth Orbit23 Dec, 2018
Navstar 76Medium Earth Orbit05 Feb, 2016
Navstar 75Medium Earth Orbit31 Oct, 2015
Navstar 74Medium Earth Orbit15 Jul, 2015
Navstar 73Medium Earth Orbit25 Mar, 2015
Navstar 72Medium Earth Orbit29 Oct, 2014
Navstar 71Medium Earth Orbit02 Aug, 2014


Satellite NameOrbit Date
NVS-01Geostationary Orbit (GEO)29 May, 2023
IRNSS-1IInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)12 Apr, 2018
IRNSS-1HSub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO)31 Aug, 2017
IRNSS-1GGeostationary Orbit (GEO)28 Apr, 2016
IRNSS-1FGeostationary Orbit (GEO)10 Mar, 2016
IRNSS-1EGeosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)20 Jan, 2016
IRNSS-1DInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)28 Mar, 2015
IRNSS-1CGeostationary Orbit (GEO)16 Oct, 2014
IRNSS-1BInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Apr, 2014
IRNSS-1AInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)01 Jul, 2013