A brilliant accomplishment for Emirati women…

In September 2019, the UAE’s first astronaut, Major Hazzaa Al Mansoori set out on a successful voyage to the International Space Station – a huge accomplishment for the Arab World. And now, less than two years after the momentous occasion, the UAE is rewriting the scientific history of the Arab region yet again with the announcement of the selection of the second batch of Emirati astronauts including the first female Arab astronaut Nora Al Matrooshi.

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai took to Twitter to proudly make the announcement on April 10, 2021.

The tweet was accompanied by a video with a conversation between Sheikh Mohammed and Al Mansoori while he was in space. Sheikh Mohammed stated ‘I can proudly assure you that a generation of young Emiratis will follow you.’

Nora Al Matrooshi was selected from over 4,000 candidates to be trained with NASA for future space exploration missions, out of which 1,400 were Emirati women. Al Matrooshi is just 27 years old.

The second candidate selected was Mohammed Al Mulla.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre also tweeted out a video about the newest member of the UAE Astronaut Programme following Sheikh Mohammed’s announcement.


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According to MBR Space Centre, space was Al Matrooshi’s passion since childhood and loves stargazing. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the United Arab Emirates University.

Replying back to the tweet from Sheikh Mohammed, Al Matrooshi stated, ‘The nation gave me unforgettable moments today. I aim to work hard to script historical moments and achievements that will be etched forever in the memory of our people. I thank our wise leadership and the team of the UAE Astronaut Programme. Preparations and work begin now.’

According to Emirates News Agency (WAM), The national space sector has a carefully thought out plan and a clear forward-looking vision that aims to make the UAE a major contributor to the space sector. It has an investments portfolio that exceeded 22 billion dirhams in just a few years

Through its national space programme, especially after the success of the Hope Probe in its mission to Mars, the UAE relies on strengthening its position scientifically and globally, and on contributing to the global scientific movement for a better future for humanity.

In February this year, the UAE accomplished another historic achievement when the Hope probe successfully entered into Mars’ orbit after launching from Tanegashima Island in Japan in July 2020. The unmanned spacecraft will explore the climactic dynamics of the Red Planet in daily and seasonal timescales for a full Martian year (687 earth days).

Images: Emirates News Agency