May 23
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Astronauts will arrive in Armenia this year and prepare for flights to Mars. Areg Mickaelian, Director of the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory of Armenia, announced this at a press conference Monday.

He added that a respective film will be made, and research is also planned.

The Austrian Space Forum plans to hold a simulation, named AMADEE-24, in Armenia this March. During this simulation, astronauts will prepare for flights to Mars.

Mickaelian said that visits to the Byurakan observatory in 2023 provided more than 27 million drams in income.

"Only giving salaries is not enough to keep science at a high level. We need money for research trips, acquire equipment, and much more. Approximately 82% of the budget is spent on salaries and 18%—on other needs. The salaries of [Armenia’s] scientists have been increased, but other employees of scientific institutions still receive approximately 120,000 drams per month," said the director of the Byurakan observatory.

He added that 193 foreign guests visited the observatory last year, which did not happen even in the best years of the Soviet period, and 47 seminars were held during the past 6-7 years, in which Nobel laureates also participated.

Also, Mickaelian stressed that all of Armenia's neighbors are focusing on the development of this sector.

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