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  • This is How Egyptians Have Been Making Space Theirs for Thousands of Years

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    Space exploration has been a farfetched dream for our entire generation, but, the few Egyptians who took the very brave step into the majestic void of space, made it possible for the dream to be realised for future generations. We are amped-up to say that Omar Samra, the record-breaking adventurer and future astronomer, has set his sights on inspiring young minds to take on the challenge of space exploration through Make Space Yours – an initiative powered by Inertia- which launched (pun completely intended) today at El Alsson School.   

    After dreaming of reaching outer space, Omar Samra ventured to create Make Space Yours, an initiative held in schools and universities to initiate a dialogue with students through talks, camps, and competitions that inspire young Egyptians to learn about space exploration. In 2016 and 2017, Make Space Yours hosted a series of talks in 77 schools and 44 universities during its first season, with the aim of spreading awareness. It also launched Camp 101 during Rise Up 2016.

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    This year, season two will see an online competition where children can participate in a variety of challenges to test their knowledge, as well as their passion, regarding space travel. As such, Make Space Yours invites passionate students with a dream to explore space to enter, and will give one senior-level winner a chance to experience the zero gravity of space. Yes, you read that right folks! The winner will travel with Omar Samra to the US or France for a Zero Gravity Flight experience, while other finalists will gain entrance into the Make Space Yours Camp, in addition to experiencing the next best thing after zero gravity, at Aerodium Egypt. All you have to do is head to the Make Space Yours website, and follow the steps for a chance to win this very special prize.

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    All this talk about space travel left us hungry for information on Egypt’s history in relation to this particular subject matter. After some serious research, we realised that Omar Samra’s hope to reach outer space is not unique in Egypt. It’s actually more of an initiative for Egypt to retain its place in astronomy and space science.

     You see, in the times of the Pharaohs, their interest in space and ability to monitor the stars helped them create the first 365-day calendar, and they were the first people in history to discover Mars, or as they called it, Horus the Red. Islamic-Arab Egypt saw Naim al-Din al-Misri documenting over a 100 of his astronomy instruments, while Abu ‘l Hassan Ibn Ali offered the world the most detailed description yet of the supernova. These achievements are not limited to the past, in modern-day Egypt, we saw the likes of Dr. Essam Heggy and Dr. Mohamed Ramy El Maary taking centre stage at NASA with their involvement in Mars Exploration and the Rosetta Mission.

    So, what’s next?  Well, Omar Samra is not the only Egyptian venturing into outer space. Abdelraouf El Waqad, Sherief Sharaf, and Akram Amin are Citizen-Scientist Astronaut Candidates in Project PoSSUM. We also have Amr Abdelwahab and Hamed Gamel leading local initiatives in the Astronomical Society at Mostafa Mahmoud Mosque, and Mars-Society Egypt respectively. Not to mention Ahmed Farid, a Space Ground Controller at the German Space Operations Center, as well as being another Citizen-Scientist Astronaut Candidate at Project PoSSUM. One of the most impressive ventures is Mohammed Sallam’s, who is the only Egyptian and Arab astronaut shortlisted in the final 100 applicants for the Mars One mission, a mission that aims to create a livable community on Mars, with no aim of going back. So he’ll be getting a one-way ticket if all goes well. Not to mention Omar Samra himself, who’s a Future Astronaut with XCOR Aerospace, as well as a candidate at Project PoSSUM and PHEnOM project.

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    We’re so excited to see all those Egyptians making their way to the international stage, and showing the world that we’ve still got it. Especially with an initiative such as Make Space Yours, aiming to raise a new generation of believers and space scientists.

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