UAE Chooses First Arab Woman to Train as Astronaut in NASA Space Program

woman looking at the stars

The United Arab Emirates recently selected its first Arab woman to train as an Astronaut. Mechanical Engineering Graduate Nora al-Matrooshi, 27, will join NASA’s 2021 Astronaut Candidate Class in the U.S. 

Matrooshi currently works at Abu Dhabi’s National Petroleum Construction Company and was one of 4,300 applicants and assessed on her education, physical, psychological and medical assessments, and work experience. She is one of four people in the UAE Astronaut program. 

The UAE started its space program in 2017 and looks to elevate its technological abilities to reduce its dependence on oil and has plans to launch a moon rover by 2024 and a landing on Mars by 2117.

The Realist Woman’s take:

This is a great story. Apparently, since launching their space program, the UAE realized it has a population of people who lack the scientific education and background to help run it as compared to many other nations. So, they choose this more than qualified woman to join and train as an Astronaut. It’s amazing and the right move.