Amid bloody civil war, Syrian government reaches for the stars

The LH 95 stellar nursery in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Credit: NASA via Wikimedia Commons.

( In the midst of a raging civil war that has left 146,000 dead and millions displaced, the Syrian government announced the establishment of a new space program. 

Dubbed the “Syrian Space Agency,” the program was established with the goal of “using space technology for exploration and observing the earth,” and the Syrian government hopes to use the new technology “in the service of development,” the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported.

It is unclear how Syria will fund the space program. The civil war, now entering its fourth year, has destroyed the country’s economy, with Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi recently stating that the country had suffered $31 billion in damages, nearly equal to its estimated $34 billion GDP.

Iran, Syria’s top patron and closest regional ally, also has a space program that many accuse of being a front for its ballistic missile program. 

Posted on March 19, 2014 .