Nura Al Matrooshi became one of two new astronauts at the United Arab Emirates Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and the first female astronaut in the country's history. This was announced by the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Al Matrooshi was selected along with Mohammad Al Mulla from more than 4,000 candidates who applied to participate in the program.
“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,” Nura Al Matrooshi wrote on Twitter.
The female astronaut was born in 1993 and holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the United Arab Emirates University. She works as an engineer for the National Petroleum Construction Company.
The second new astronaut, Al Mulla, was born in 1988 and is a pilot in the Dubai Police Force and is the head of the Training Department at the Air Wing Center at Dubai Police.
Both will further train at NASA for future space exploration.
In July 2020, the United Arab Emirates became the first Arab country to successfully launch the Hope interplanetary mission. The mission should orbit Mars and collect detailed information about its atmosphere and climate.
The UAE Space Agency noted that this mission would allow scientists to create a detailed map of the climate of the Red Planet and help answer key questions about global changes in the atmosphere of Mars.