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    20-Apr-2024

Muhammad Faris, first Syrian citizen in space, dead at 73

 

AP

 

Syrian pilot and air force officer and the first Syrian citizen to go into space, Muhammad Faris, has passed away at the age of 73 after a battle with illness.
 
Colonel Muhammad Faris passed away in Turkey, where he lived there as a refugee due to the aftermath of the Syrian crisis - in which Faris joined the ranks of the opposition.
 
In 1985, Faris was chosen to partake in a Soviet spaceflight program, and flew into space in 1987 on board the Soyuz TM-3 spacecraft.
 
Faris spent eight days in space with two Soviet cosmonauts, Aleksandr Viktorenko and Aleksandr P. Aleksandrov, where they conducted several research experiments in the fields of space medicine and materials processing.
 
He was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union, and he also received the Order of Lenin, the Soviet Union’s highest civilian decoration for his mission.
 
Faris, who was the second Arab in space and was dubbed as the “Neil Armstrong of the Arab world,” is credited with carrying the first recorded Earth dirt into space, which was a vial carrying soil from Damascus.
 
Colonel Muhammad Faris was a national hero, and was granted several honors and medals for his work, in addition to a school, airport and roads named after him.
 

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