UAE names 'first Arab female astronaut'


Published: 2021-04-12 12:32

Last Updated: 2024-06-17 21:51

Credit: CNN
Credit: CNN

Sunday, the UAE made history by naming its first female astronaut, and the first female astronaut in the Arab world. 

Noura Al-Matrooshi, a 27-year-old engineer was chosen along with 33-year-old pilot Mohammed Al Mulla, out of 4,305 candidates to join the UAE Astronaut Program.

“We announce the first Arab female astronaut, among two new astronauts, selected from over 4,000 candidates to be trained with NASA for future space exploration missions. Congratulations Noura Al Matrooshi and Mohammed Al Mulla,” said the UAE vice president and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on Twitter.

In turn, Matrooshi tweeted "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."

The MBR Space Center said in a video that Matrooshi was born in 1993 and holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the United Arab Emirates University.

The center wrote on Twitter, “Space was her passion since childhood... Nora AlMatrooshi, the new member of the UAE Astronaut Programme.”
Matrooshi works as an engineer at the National Petroleum Construction Company.

In the video, the center also mentioned the other new astronaut, Mohammed Al Mulla, who was born in 1988 and is a commercial pilot.
He also works as a pilot for Dubai Police, where he is the head of their training division.

Matrooshi and Mulla will train with NASA for future space exploration. NASA tweeted "Congratulations to @Astronaut_Nora and @Astro_Almulla! We look forward to training with you here in Houston."