Muhammed Faris


Muhammed Faris
Muhammed Ahmed Faris.jpg
Faris in 2012
Born (1951-05-26) 26 May 1951 (age 70)
NationalitySyrian, Turkish
Other namesMuhammed Ahmed Adas
AwardsHero of the Soviet Union
Order of Lenin
Medal "For Merit in Space Exploration"
Space career
Interkosmos Research Cosmonaut
RankGeneral, Syrian Air Force[1]
Time in space
7d 23h 04min
Selection1985 Intercosmos Group
MissionsMir EP-1 (Soyuz TM-3 / Soyuz TM-2)
Mission insignia
Soyuz TM-3 mission patch.svg

Muhammed Ahmed Faris (Arabic: محمد أحمد فارس‎, Muḥammad ʾAḥmad Fāris; born 26 May 1951) is a Syrian military aviator. He was the first Syrian and the second Arab in space.


Born in Aleppo, Syria, he was a pilot in the Syrian Air Force with the rank of a colonel. He specialized in navigation when he was selected to participate in the Intercosmos spaceflight program on 30 September 1985.

He flew as Research Cosmonaut in the Interkosmos program on Soyuz TM-3 to the Mir space station in July 1987, spending 7 days 23 hours and 5 minutes in space. He returned to Earth aboard Soyuz TM-2.

He is credited with carrying the first recorded Earth dirt into space, which was a vial carrying soil from Damascus.[2]

Faris was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union on 30 July 1987; he was also awarded the Order of Lenin.[3]

After his spaceflight, Faris returned to the Syrian Air Force and lived in Aleppo.

Syrian Civil War

On 4 August 2012, during the Syrian Civil War, Faris defected from Assad's regime and joined the armed opposition.[4][5]

On 13 September 2012, made an exclusive interview with Al Aan TV and covered many topics regarding the ongoing civil war in Syria.[6]

Faris is also part of the Syrian National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change, an anti-Assad grouping.[7]

In a March 2016 interview as a Syrian refugee in Turkey, Faris stated regarding the ongoing Syrian Civil War: "I tell Europe if you don't want refugees, then you should help us get rid of this regime," adding "I am very sorry about the Russian interference, which has stood on the side of dictator Bashar Assad, and has begun to kill the Syrian people with their planes".[8]

In September 2017, Faris was appointed Defense Minister of the Syrian Interim Government, a self-appointed opposition grouping.[9]

Personal life

Faris is married and has three children.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ "Syria's first astronaut defects to Turkey: report". ArabNews. Archived from the original on August 5, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
  2. ^ "The first Syrian in space". 9 April 2015 – via The National.
  3. ^ (in Russian) Biography at the website on Heroes of the Soviet Union and Russia
  4. ^ "Syria's first astronaut defects to Turkey: report". ArabNews. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  5. ^ رائد الفضاء اللواء محمد فارس يعلن انشقاقه on YouTube
  6. ^ Al Aan, Akhbar (13 September 2012). "لقاء خاص مع رائد الفضاء السوري المنشق محمد فارس". Akhbar Al Aan. Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  7. ^ Garthwaite, Rosie (1 March 2016). "From astronaut to refugee: how the Syrian spaceman fell to Earth" – via The Guardian.
  8. ^ "AP Interview: Syrian cosmonaut: Europe must help oust Assad". The Associated Press. 9 March 2016. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Opposition Govt Appoints First Syrian Astronaut as Defense Minister".

External links

  • Spacefacts biography of Muhammed Faris
  • Space Knight