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Grand Turk Island is an island in the Turks and Caicos Islands. It is the largest island in the Turks Islands (not the Caicos) with 18 square kilometres. It contains the territory's capital, Cockburn Townmarker and the JAGS McCartney International Airportmarker. The island is the administrative, historic, cultural and financial centre of the territory, and has the second largest population of the islands at approximately 3,720 people.

Replica of the Friendship 7


Grand Turk gained international attention in 1962 when John Glenn's Friendship 7 Mercury spacecraft landed in the vicinity of Grand Turk Island off the southeast shoreline. A replica of the Friendship 7 is on display in Grand Turk at the entrance to the Grand Turk Island airport.

The name comes from a species of cactus on the island, the Turk's Cap Cactus (Melocactus intortus), which has a distinctive cap, reminiscent of a Turkish fez.

It is said to be possibly the landfall island of Christopher Columbus during his discovery of the New World in 1492. San Salvador Islandmarker or Samana Caymarker in the Bahamasmarker is traditionally considered the site of Columbus' first landfall, but some believe that studies of Columbus' journals show that his descriptions of Guanahani much more closely fit Grand Turk than they do other candidates.

In 1966 at least 5 sounding rockets were launched from Grand Turk Island [76014]

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