The United Arab Emirates has selected the first Arab woman to train as an astronaut. Emirati national Nora al-Matrooshi, a 27-year-old mechanical engineering graduate is currently working at National Petroleum Construction Company, Abu Dhabi. Very soon, she is going to join NASA’s 2021 Astronaut Candidate Class in the United States.
Along with Matrooshi, another Emirati, Mohammed al-Mulla will also join NASA. A total of four people are 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.
Dubai’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) said that, "A total of 4,300 people have applied and Matrooshi was one of those applicants assessed on scientific abilities, education and practical experience, and then on physical, psychological and medical assessments."
شغف بالفضاء منذ الصغر.. مسيرة نورا المطروشي التي اختيرت ضمن الدفعة الثانية من برنامج الإمارات لرواد الفضاء.#رواد_الفضاء_الإماراتيون #برنامج_الإمارات_لرواد_الفضاء@Astronaut_Nora @TheUAETRA pic.twitter.com/BYMYENfqLs— MBR Space Centre (@MBRSpaceCentre) April 10, 2021
In 2017, the UAE launched a National Space Programme to develop local expertise.
HH Sheikh Mohammed took to his Twitter and shared a video with the caption, "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." Here is the tweet.
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. pic.twitter.com/bfyquyzqAJ— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) April 10, 2021