The VOA Amharic program's Fregenet Asseged talked to aspiring astronaut Lealem Mulugeta, who recently commanded the Mars Society of Canada's Training Expedition known as Expedition Beta.
The expedition is a two-week training and research mission that simulates an actual mission to Mars, complete with geological exploration and studies of crew members physiology. The mission, the second of its kind for the Mars Society of Canada, a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging exploration and eventual settlement on the Red Planet, took place at the Mars Desert Research Station.
Lealem Mulugeta was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and he came to Canada at the age of 11. He currently resides in Winnipeg, Manitoba. As a child he favored acrobatics to soccer and liked to gaze into the sky and watch airplanes and birds fly. Those moments and the Star Trek movies inspired him to become an astronaut.
Lealem graduated with a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering with Aerospace Option from University of Manitoba. In order to further fulfill his dream of becoming an astronaut, Lealem has enrolled in International Space University in France.
(Click the links above to hear Fregenet's interview with Lealem Mulugeta in Amharic).