First Qatari set for space travel this year


DOHA IF everything goes as planned, Qatar will soon have one of its sons in the space cruising around the Earth aboard an American spacecraft.

Famous Qatari astronomer Sheikh Salman bin Jabor al Thani, looking forward to his space travel, will be the first Qatari and Arab to undertake a space trip. Whenever this trip comes about this year, Sheikh Salman will be able to see from 100- km altitude and outside of gravity, the outer space as well as the planet —one half of it in daylight and the other half in darkness.

Sheikh Salman has received a special training for the trip in the US. He will have a group of astronauts from other nations for company. Together, they will record their experiences and take hundreds of photos to document the trip.

In an interview published in Al Watan newspaper, Sheikh Salman said that the trip was scheduled for 2012, but had to be postponed for technical reasons. Now it is expected to take place some time this year.

According to him, the spacecraft will reach the 100 km altitude within the atmosphere, where there is no gravity, and stay in the orbit for some time before returning to earth.

“My name is on the list, but not approved so far for this trip because the spacecraft that will take us into the space is still undergoing tests. Once it is ready to take off on its space journey, we will be called and the departure date will be fixed,” said Salma. He, however, pointed out that the number of astronauts onboard the spacecraft was yet to be decided. There could be between six and eight passengers depending on their weight, because this has a critical bearing on the amount of fuel as well as other technical aspects.

He said that he was mentally prepared for this adventure and will embark on his dream journey at own expenses. He added that the trip is being arranged by Virgin Galactic Company, and that “once given the green light, we will have to pack up for the trip.” He pointed out that the Civil Aviation Authority was checking the spacecraft for safety measures. “After it clears the tests, the flight date will be fixed, and all indications are that it will be within this year.”

Related Posts

Post a Comment

Subscribe Our Newsletter