UAE selects Arab woman for NASA's astronaut training

UAE selects Arab woman for NASA’s astronaut training

The United Arab Emirates has selected the first Arab woman to train as an astronaut, as the Gulf country rapidly expands into the space sector to diversify its economy.

Emirati national Nora al-Matrooshi, a 27-year-old mechanical engineering graduate currently working at Abu Dhabi’s National Petroleum Construction Company, will join NASA’s 2021 Astronaut Candidate Class in the United States.

The UAE launched a National Space Programme in 2017 to develop local expertise. Its population of 9.4 million, most of whom are foreign workers, lacks the scientific and industrial base of the big spacefaring nations.

The UAE is using its space programme to develop its scientific and technological capabilities and reduce its reliance on oil.

In February a UAE probe reached the orbit of the planet Mars, the Arab world’s first interplanetary expedition. The UAE has plans to launch a moon rover by 2024 and even a vision for a Mars settlement by 2117.

Matrooshi will be joined by another Emirati, Mohammed al-Mulla, making a total of four people under the UAE Astronaut Programme. They include Hazza al-Mansouri who became the first Emirati in space in 2019 when he flew to the International Space Station.

……………………………….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.