First NASA-trained Arab woman astronaut to travel to space

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is preparing to send its first female astronaut trained by NASA to the Moon. Nora AlMatrooshi, who completed her NASA training, is ready for space missions.

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First NASA-trained Arab woman astronaut to travel to space

United Arab Emirates (UAE) astronaut Nora AlMatrooshi has become the first Arab woman to complete NASA’s training program and is ready to set off for space.

AlMatrooshi said that he decided to become an astronaut in an art class in elementary school where they had to simulate the lunar surface and thought, “This is great. I really want to do this, I really want to go on the surface of the moon.”

AlMatrooshi, a mechanical engineer who worked in the oil industry, was one of two astronauts selected by the United Arab Emirates Space Agency (UAEESA) to enroll in the US space agency NASA’s training program in 2021.

The group known as “The Flies” now has the right to serve on NASA’s International Space Station (ISS), take part in the Artemis lunar launch mission and, if all goes well, fly to Mars.

“I want to take humanity further than it has ever gone before. I want humanity to go back to the Moon and go beyond the Moon,” AlMatrooshi said.

SPECIAL HEADSCARF SEWN FOR SPACESUIT

AlMatrooshi, who wears a headscarf as part of her Muslim faith, said she developed a method that allows her to keep her hair covered while wearing NASA’s iconic white spacesuit and helmet.

AlMatrooshi said, “The garment engineers sewed a special headscarf for me. A space was created where I could put on the headscarf, put on the dress and put on the communication headgear, then take off the headscarf and my hair would not be visible. I really appreciate them doing this for me,” she said.

AlMatrooshi will be ready to step into space with his customized suit.

Although AlMatrooshi is the first Arab woman to complete NASA training, many Arab women have participated in private space missions before.

Other Arab women have already participated in private space missions, including Saudi biomedical researcher Rayyanah Barnawi, who flew to the ISS with Axiom Space last year, and Egyptian-Lebanese engineer Sara Sabry.

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