The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has selected its first female astronaut as emirates doubles its astronaut corps to four.
Nora Al Matrooshi and Mohammed Al Mulla were selected to begin training. They join Hazza Al Mansouri, who became the first Emirati to journey into space during a trip to the International Space Station in 2019, and Sultan Al Neyadi, who was the backup astronaut for that mission.
Al Matrooshi is a 27-year old mechanical engineer who is employed by the National Petroleum Construction Company. She is a native of Abu Dhabi.
Born in 1988, Al Mulla is a pilot and head of the training department at Air Wing Centre. He became the youngest pilot in the Dubai Police at the age of 19, and received a bravery medal from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, vice president and ruler of Dubai.
Al Matrooshi and Al Mulla were selected from among 4,305 applicants, including 1,400 women. The will begin training at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston at the end of this year.