“gMETAL” project manager is a professor from TÜBİTAK Marmara Research Center (TÜBİTAK MAM). Dr. İskender Gökalp told the AA correspondent that they have been working on the implementation of the experiment for more than 1.5 years.

Pointing out that physical, chemical or biological conditions change in a zero-gravity environment, Gökalp explained that Turkey’s first astronaut Alper Gezeravcı studied the effects of the zero-gravity environment in the 13 experiments he conducted on the ISS.

Gökalp explained that preliminary preparations for combustion experiments have been made with the “gMETAL” experiment and shared the following information:

“There has to be a good mix between fuel and air. For example, in a world with gravity, it is difficult to use solid particles in solid rocket engines because of precipitation. We study how the mixing with solid particles occurs in an environment with no gravity or with very low gravity. That’s why we’re doing a few things.” We sent out tubes. If we’re going to use a solid-fuel engine in space, the mixture should be good and the combustion should be good. We say we’re going to go to the moon or Mars. “We want to build a small rocket for Mars. However, if we take air from there as fuel, it would be quite costly. Considering that Mars’ atmosphere consists of 95 percent carbon dioxide, we want to build a rocket that picks up metal particles such as aluminum or magnesium from Earth and uses the carbon dioxide there as fuel. So it will be more expensive.” We want to use less fuel and increase the thrust more. These motors should not stop after they start working. “To prevent that from happening, the mixture has to be very good.”


Provides the production of recyclable fuel

Gökalp explained that the use of fossil fuels produces carbon dioxide worldwide and pointed out that this situation causes global warming.

“How are heat and energy produced without emitting carbon dioxide?” Gökalp explained that they were looking for an answer to the question: “For example, when iron and the oxygen in the air combine and burn, a very strong heat and iron oxide are released. You can take this iron oxide again, send it.” It will be sent back to the iron factories and from there converted into iron ore. This is one of the best examples of the circular economy,” he said.

Gökalp emphasized that “gMETAL” is not a combustion experiment, but a “mixture improvement” experiment, and said that this experiment can also be carried out on Earth.


“There is a possibility of creating a gravity-free environment on Earth”

Gökalp emphasized that it is not possible to fly into space and conduct experiments at any time, saying:

“If we want Turkey to become heavily involved in space studies, we need to increase the frequency of these experiments. There are two ways to realize the zero gravity environment in the world. The first is parabolic flying aircraft. “Think of an Airbus.” there is one in France right now. It takes off and lands at 45 degrees. It’s right at the top of the parabola.” We can divide gravity by 100 for about 20 seconds. We can use the inside of this plane as a laboratory. This is one of the best methods. Turkish Airlines has many Airbuses. The wings of one of these aircraft need to be strengthened a bit. Of course, the pilot who will fly it also needs to be trained. Maybe Alper can do this job when he comes back. The second option is the elevator method. When the elevator falls, it causes momentary flying in the air. There are free fall towers for these. One of the largest is 110 meters high and is in Germany. This place is full of researchers who want to conduct experiments every day. Türkiye’s construction industry is very strong. This is easy to determine and experiments can be performed at low gravity. “Our young people in particular will be integrated into the space exploration system more quickly.”

Stating that the largest free fall system is the 1 kilometer long coal mine shaft in Japan, which is closed, Gökalp said: “I went to Japan to carry out the experiments. At that time the Japanese said there was another Turk. The other.” Manager of the gMETAL project is Industry and Technology. “We met Deputy Minister Ahmet Yozgatlıgil that day,” he said.

Gökalp added that it is important to conduct such studies domestically to encourage young people and prevent brain drain.

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