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سارة صبري أول مصرية.. ما هو رائد الفضاء الأنالوج؟

Sarah Sabry is the first Egyptian woman.. What is an analog astronaut?

12:24 PM

Wednesday 27 July 2022

The name “Sarah Sabry” has spread strongly recently on social media platforms, after being celebrated as the “first Egyptian astronaut”. To discover later that she is “not an astronaut” in the known sense, and that it is only “the first Egyptian citizen to visit space.”

The beginning of Sarah’s story occurred when the Blue Origin company, which launched space flights, announced its crew, which will travel to perform its “NS-22” mission. This crew consists of 6 members, most of whom are Americans, except for the businessman. The Portuguese, Mario Ferreira, and the Egyptian engineer, Sarah Sabry.

The praise of her soon extended to the Egyptian Space Agency, which, on its official Facebook page, congratulated her under the title “We proudly congratulate the first Egyptian astronaut.”

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But Blue Origin pointed out that Sarah is “Egypt’s first analogue astronaut,” which is how Sarah also defines herself through her LinkedIn account.

This name means that “the person decided to play the role of an astronaut during a simulation of similar missions for the purpose of exploration” – according to the “Lunares Space” site – that is, he is not a professional astronaut.

And the company’s website indicated that “Sarah” had already completed last year a two-week simulation of the harsh conditions experienced by astronauts.

By searching for Sarah’s LinkedIn account; She stated that the simulation was “a two-week isolation mission in Poland… and that she was responsible for conducting medical research on herself and staff, and providing emergency support.”

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This simulation was conducted with “Lunares Space Research Station”, which is – according to its website “a representative research station to simulate a space mission completely isolated from the environment and residential areas, and it can conduct a mission on the moon and Mars for a period of two weeks for a crew of 6 people.. It aims to create a research platform to support Scientific and technological development in space exploration.

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This simulation only requires age between 21-65 years, good command of English, and a minimum of a bachelor’s degree., and it will cost 1750 euros (approximately 34,000 Egyptian pounds).

The subscriber may be required – according to the station’s rules – to change his eating habits and follow a regime during it, and to exercise from one to two hours, and communications with close people will be limited to e-mails, and the use of phones is not allowed.

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Sarah participated in this simulation after obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the American University in Cairo, and her Master’s degree in Medical Engineering from Italy.

She was then able to apply for sponsorship from Space for Humanity, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide access to space. In her post about the flight, Sarah identified herself as a “citizen astronaut.” (CITIZEN ASTRONAUT).

Sarah says, in television statements, that there are types of astronauts, the first of which is in governments such as those affiliated with NASA, and the second is commercial, which bears its expenses, and the third – and it is from him – who goes for a specific scientific goal, provided that he receives various training Exactly about the government astronaut, in addition to that his trip is short, as its journey will take only 11 minutes from take off from Earth to landing again.

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This opportunity, which she says was “unexpected”, came to her after being chosen to participate in the “NS-22” flight for Blue Origin, which will be the sixth human flight for its New Shepard programme, and the third this year, and the twenty-second in its history.

The company launches its flights from West Texas, USA, under the title “Buy a window seat on a space trip that will change your life”, by filling out a form with some data, the reason for wanting to participate, and talking about previous adventures.

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We did not receive a response from the company after emailing it to know the selection criteria and the cost. But “Sarah” spoke about the reason for choosing her as the first Egyptian girl, saying: “It goes back to leadership skills in the field of space,” noting that many experiments are conducted on the body before the flight, and training and simulation are done to ensure that the tour can be tolerated.

Sarah and those with her will carry a postcard on behalf of the company owned by the American businessman, founder of “Amazon”, Jeff Bezos, which is being competed by some companies, most notably the “SpaceX” company of businessman Elon Musk.

In three minutes, “Sarah” must focus well to study the Earth from space… She explained that the benefit of this matter “affects her general view of problems on Earth, as scientists have noticed an effect on the brain at this moment.”

And after returning from that soon-scheduled trip; Sarah, who currently resides in Berlin, is seeking a Ph.D. in the coming period, in addition to her work as a founder of the company “DEEP SPACE INITIATIVE”, which she defines as “a non-profit organization that aims to increase the accessibility and exploration of space.” Its site is a team of specialists to serve that goal with some content related to learning about the space environment.

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“I believe that sharing my experience with the world will motivate a generation of Egyptian youth to be educated, help change the perception of women in the Arab world, and show the world what we are really capable of,” Sarah says, according to Space for Humanity.