UAE names its first female astronaut, Noura al-Matroushi

In a promotional video by the UAE government, al-Matroushi, born in 1993, has been described as an engineer at the Abu-Dhabi-based National Petroleum Construction Co.

Created On: Apr 12, 2021 19:08 ISTModified On: Apr 12, 2021 19:08 IST
UAE female astronaut

The United Arab Emirates on April 10, 2021, named the next two astronauts in the country’s space program. It also includes the country’s first female astronaut, Noura al-Matroushi.

The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who also serves as the autocratically ruled country’s Vice-President and Prime Minister, announced the names of the two astronauts on Twitter.

Al-Maktoum identified Noura al-Matroushi as the first female astronaut of UAE with her male counterpart, Mohammed al-Mulla. The two will be undergoing training at Johnson Space center of NASA in Houston, Texas.

Maj. Hazza Al-Mansoori had become UAE’s first astronaut in space. He spent an eight-day mission aboard the International Space Station.

Who is Noura al-Matroushi?

In a promotional video by the UAE government, al-Matroushi, born in 1993, has been described as an engineer at the Abu-Dhabi-based National Petroleum Construction Co.

According to the UAE government, if she ends up going on a mission, al-Matroushi can become the first Arab woman in space.

Her male counterpart for the space program, Mohammed al-Mulla was born in 1988. He serves as a pilot with Dubai police and also heads their training division.

The two astronauts were selected among more than 4,000 applicants in the United Arab Emirates.

First Muslim woman in space:

An Iranian-American Telecommunication entrepreneur and millionaire from Dallas, Anousheh Raissyan had become the first Muslim woman as well as the first Iranian in space. She had traveled in 2006 as a self-funded civilian to the International Space Station- ISS and reportedly had paid $20 million to travel as a tourist.

The first Muslim in space was Saudi Prince Sultan bin Salman. He had joined the crew of the Shuttle discovery in 1985.

UAE in space:

The United Arab Emirates has had other recent successes in its space program. In February 2021, the country had put its Amal, or Hope, satellite in orbit around Mars, making it a first for the Arab world.

In 2024, UAE hopes to put an unmanned spacecraft on the moon. The country has also set the ambitious goal of constructing a human colony on Mars by 2117.

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