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8 Things to Know About Nora Al Matrooshi, the First Female Arab Astronaut

Nora Al Matrooshi. Photo: WAM

Only 65 women from around the world have been in space, and 27-year-old Nora Al Matrooshi, the first female Arab astronaut is on the path to becoming the 66th. On Saturday, April 10, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai took to Twitter to announce the two new Emirati astronauts, Al Matrooshi and Mohammed Al Mulla. The two will join NASA’s 2021 Astronaut Candidate Class in the United States.

Here is everything you need to know about the first Arab female astronaut from the UAE, Nora Al Matrooshi:

1. Al Matrooshi was born in 1993 in the emirate of Sharjah. She received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the United Arab Emirates University in 2015.

2. She was chosen from over 4,000 candidates to be trained for future space exploration missions.

3. She is a member of the The American Society of Mechanical Engineers and is currently working as an engineer at the National Petroleum Construction Company.

4. Al Matrooshi managed projects for the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.


5.  She excels in mathematics and engineering, ranking first in the UAE for the 2011 International Mathematical Olympiad.

6. Adding to her long list of accomplishments, she was selected for the 2013 UAE Youth Ambassadors Programme in South Korea.

7. Passionate about encouraging the youth within the MENA region, she went on to represent the UAE at the UN International Youth Conference in both 2018 and 2019.

8. Her love for space was ignited at a young age, as she enjoyed attending stargazing events and lessons about space at her school.

Read Next: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Appoints the First Female Emirati Common Law Judge

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