First Arab Woman as Part of the Astronaut Team

After the appointment of Noura Al Matrooshi in the United Arab Emirates, she will proceed to travel to the United States to be instructed at NASA.

The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía

Listen to this article

The UAE was proud to announce on Saturday 10th of April, that Al Matrooshi would turn into the first Arab female astronaut, to be part of the selected team of four members to attend the NASA to be tutored at the NASA and to eventually make part of future missions to space. In his Twitter account, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and first minister of the Arab country presented Noura Al Matrooshi by first stating that she is the first Arab female astronaut, selected among 4000 candidates to train with NASA for future exploration missions.

Al Matrooshi will make part of a selected team of 4 astronauts from the UAE, which includes Hazza Al Mansouri, the first astronaut who traveled to space during September 2020 for a mission lasting 8 days at the Spatial International Station, as noted by the Emirate News Agency, WAM. It is worth mentioning that Al Matrooshi is a certified mechanical engineer from the United Arab Emirates University UAEU. She also has several years of experience in the field and she has complementary studies in engineering and mathematics.


During the selection process, Noura Al Matrooshi had to overcome a long process in which 4305 candidates took part, from which 33% were women. The challenging process included tests for intelligence, personality, and technical capacity, medical exams, and meticulous tests to evaluate physical condition, teamwork, and communication skills. The designated 4 astronauts will be instructed at the Johnson Space Center of NASA since there is a strategic agreement between the USA and the UAE, that enables them to be formed in spatial flights for training to make part of low orbit missions.

It is also important to highlight that the United Arab Emirates has made a strong bid on the field of aerospace science and technology in the last years. In 2014 the country created its own spatial agency and last February it became the fifth country that successfully entered orbit around Mars and the first one for the Arab world. The Emirate Mars Mission was known as the Hope Probe, and its objective was to illustrate the first complete depiction of the atmosphere in Mars. The Emirati engineers which worked for the Hope Probe were on average 27 years old and 34% were women. However, as reported by CNN, 80 % of the science team was integrated by females. One of the objectives of the mission was to work on the construction of a knowledge-based economy for the UAE, leading to more investment in science, technology, and mathematics for the young population of the UAE.

We use cookies to improve our website. By continuing to use this website, you are giving consent to cookies being used. More details…