Tag Archives: cosmonaut

Syria’s only astronaut now a refugee

The uncertainty of life: Muhammed Faris, the only Syrian to ever fly in space, is now a refugee living in Turkey with his family.

Then in 2011, just as he was preparing to enjoy a life in retirement, it all went wrong – as it did for his country. In 2012, he defected from the Syrian Air Force and joined the armed opposition. He was deemed a traitor, had all his honours revoked and his belongings confiscated. He eventually had to flee his country, leaving almost everything behind.

Read it all. He says that his reasons for leaving the air force were because it was bombing its own citizens but I wonder if it might be more complicated than that.

Cosmonaut Titov becomes the first man to fly in space more than 24 hours

An evening pause: Fifty years ago today Soviet cosmonaut Gherman Titov became the second Russian to fly in space, and the first to stay in orbit more than one day. During his seventeen orbit flight he also was the first human to experience space sickness and to sleep in space.

The newsreel below is somewhat comical, as the Soviets were not very forthcoming with information. To provide visuals the newsreel used film footage showing a V2 rocket from World War II, as well as a very unrealistic globe with an equally unrealistic spacecraft to “demonstrate the course of an orbit around the earth.”

Nonetheless, because the newsreel is of that time, it illustrates well the fear the west had of the Soviet’s success in space. For a communist nation to be so far ahead of the U.S., which so far had only flown two suborbital flights, was a challenge to the free world that could not stand.