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Turkish space-traveler begins to conduct scientific experiments

The first Turkish space traveler, Alper Gezeravci, began to conduct scientific researches on the International Space Station, the Turkish Space Agency (TUA) announced on Monday.

The Ax-3 mission, with Gezeravci on board, was launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida at 4.49 p.m. ET Thursday (2149GMT) on a Falcon 9 rocket of private space exploration company SpaceX.

The crew, which docked at 5:42 a.m. EST (1042GMT), entered the ISS at 0716 EST. The four-person team will conduct more than 30 scientific researches during their 14-day stay, with Gezeravci responsible for 13 researches.

The TUA said the first experiment, named Extremophyte, was developed by Ege University in the Aegean city of Izmir.

The experiment aims to reveal the transcriptome by next generation sequencing in plants grown in space and on earth which are exposed to salt stress, and to compare some physiological and molecular responses of glycophytic and halophytic plants to salt stress in microgravity.