UAE astronaut Nora Al Matrooshi on Forbes list of Arab women who made history in 2021

The Emirati is the region's first female space traveller

By Web Desk

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram


Published: Sun 6 Feb 2022, 7:12 PM

Last updated: Sun 6 Feb 2022, 10:42 PM

Emirati astronaut Nora Al Matrooshi has made it to Forbes list of 5 Arab women who made history in 2021.

Al Matrooshi, who is the Arab world's first female astronaut, was selected from among thousands of applications for the second batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme in April 2021.

"Al Matrooshi and Mohammad AlMulla were chosen from 4,000 candidates to train with the Nasa space agency for future space missions. In September 2021, Al Matrooshi flew to Nasa's historic Johnson Space Center to train for the 2021 Nasa Astronaut Candidate Class, which she officially joined on January 1, 2022," Forbes said in its report.

"In 2022, Al Matrooshi will embark on two years of training at Nasa in Houston, Texas, representing Arab women in the global aerospace industry."

The Emirati astronauts will train in five major categories over the next two years of the programme. These include operating and maintaining the International Space Station's (ISS) complex systems, training for spacewalks, developing complex robotics skills, safely operating a T-38 training jet, and Russian language skills.

Once qualified, the astronauts could be assigned to missions that involve performing research aboard the ISS or undertake space missions, among others.

Salem AlMarri, Director-General of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), tweeted that the team was "beyond proud" to have AlMatrooshi recognised "among such prestigious trailblazers from the Arab World".

"(She) presents exemplary qualifications, leadership abilities, humility, and wisdom beyond her years. She is a role model to men and women alike, and paves the way for future generations to pursue their dreams without inhibition," he tweeted.


The first female Arab astronaut, AlMatrooshi, 28, is a mechanical engineer from the United Arab Emirates University. She aspires to develop the space sector in the UAE further and ultimately land on the Moon onboard an Emirati spacecraft.

Other women featured on the list include the first female prime minister in Tunisia and the Arab world, Najla Bouden; Tunisian tennis star Ons Jabeur; and cofounders of e-commerce company Mumzworld Mona Ataya and Leena Khalil.

More news from