Egypt: Celebrating Curiosity and the Man of Mars – Dr Essam Heggy

Egyptians following the Mars Curiosity rover are celebrating the work and life of NASA researcher Dr Essam Mohamed Heggy, a planetary scientist who is a member of the science team involved in the discovery of life on Mars.

People around the world watched Curiosity's historic landing on Mars earlier today.

On Twitter, The Big Pharaoh tells us:

عصام حجي، احد علماء ناسا و شارك في رحلة كيريوسيتي، تم فصله من جامعة القاهرة و لم يتم قبوله في الجيش المصري. خلص الكلام. ‎‪#MarsCuriosity
@TheBigPharaoh: Essam Heggy is one of NASA's scientists and he is involved in Curiosity's journey. He was expelled from Cairo University and not accepted in the Egyptian Army. End of story.

And continues:

عصام حجي، احد علماء ناسا الذين شاركوا في رحلة كيريوسيتي للمريخ، لم يتم قبوله في الجيش المصري عشان بيتهته في الكلام. عسكر اغبياء.
@TheBigPharoah: Essam Heggy is one of the NASA scientists involved in Curiosity's voyage to Mars. He was rejected by the Egyptian Army because of a speech impairment. Stupid army!
The Curiosity Rover casts a shadow in Mars' Gale crater while landing. Picture uploaded by NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover facebook page.

The Curiosity Rover casts a shadow in Mars’ Gale crater while landing. Picture uploaded by NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover facebook page.

Hassan Yahya adds:

عصام حجي أحد العلماء المصريين في ناسا و بيدرس وجود الماء على الكواكب الأخرى .. إتفصل من كلية علوم في مصر عشان مرجعش من أجازته في ميعاده!
@HassanYahya: Essam Heggy is one of the Egyptian scientists at NASA and teaches about the existence of water on other planets. He was sacked from a college of science in Egypt because he did not return from a holiday on time

Prophetess Lana notes:

#عصام_حجي‬‏ يلقب بـ “رجل المريخ” وهو لم يتجاوز ال٣٦.من ذكرياته: رفض ابو حبيبته تزويجه لآنه مجرد معيد في كلية الفلك راتبه ٣٠٠ ج ومالوش مستقبل.
@prophetess_lana: Essam Heggy is called “The Man of Mars.” He is not even 36 years old and remembers: His girlfriend's father refused to allow them to get married because he was merely a university lecturer at the College of Astronomy whose salary was 300 Egyptian pounds and who had no future

Meanwhile, Amr Khairy uses the opportunity to joke about the Muslim Brotherhood appointments in government and how exhibiting signs of religion are a bigger priority than promoting science and learning. He tweets:

العالم المصري عصام حجي يبحث عن الماء على كوكب المريخ، وهشام قنديل وزير الري السابق يجهز الحجرة المجاورة لمكتبه في رئاسة الوزراء لتصبح مسجدا.
@Amr Khairy: The Egyptian scientist Essam Heggy is exploring Mars for water. And Hisham Qindeel, the former Irrigation Minister, is reorganising the room next to his office at the Prime Minister's Office to turn it into a mosque

Curiosity is NASA's latest attempt to go where no man has gone before. Before this mission, the U.S., Russia, Japan and Europe had sent about 40 spacecrafts to Mars. Twenty-six had failed. During the 23 months after landing, Curiosity will analyze dozens of samples of rocks to access whether Mars could ever support human life.


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