The United Arab Emirates names the first Arab female astronaut Noura Al Matroushi along with Mohammed Al Mulla as new astronauts in the UAE's Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) Astronaut Programme.
The two Emirati astronauts were chosen from over 4,000 candidates, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of DubaiSheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced on Twitter.
A total of 4,300 applicants, including 1,400 Emirati women, were interviewed for the selection process for the UAE Astronaut Programme by a committee of experts from MBRSC, including Emirati astronauts Hazzaa Al-Mansoori and Sultan Al Neyadi along with NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Jessica Meir, according to a statement from the Dubai Media office. Candidates were shortlisted on the basis of preliminary and advanced medical examinations.
Al Matroushi(28) and Al Mulla (33) were selected as new recruits to the UAE Astronaut Team from 14 finalists, nine men and five women. The duo will begin their training at Nasa's Johnson Space Centre in Texas this year and will be joined by the country's first two astronauts, Al-Mansoori and Al Neyadi, for their training programme, the statement noted.
"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," Noura tweeted.
"I thank our wise leadership and the team of the UAE Astronaut Programme. Preparations and work begin now."
This has marked as a recognition for the dedication of Emirati women in the field of Science and Technology.Sara al-Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology and Deputy Project Manager of the Emirates Mars Mission, has proved that there is nothing impossible in the face of powerful aspirations. Also the chair of the UAE Space Agency, Sara became the first national to speak at an international TED event in 2017.
Meanwhile, MBRSC currently consists of 42 percent of the women employees.