Engineer Sara Sabry has become the first Egyptian national to head into space, courtesy of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. The orbital technology company famed for creating suborbital vehicles for space has launched six crew members into space, two of them being the first citizens from Egypt and Portugal to embark upon a space journey.
As part of Mission N-22, the newly launched Shepherd Suborbital rocket took off on August 4 from the company’s launch site, based in the West Texas desert. The rocket, encompassing the six passengers blasted up at full speed reaching a height of 100km (62 miles) above sea level, hitting the Karman line that marks the internationally accepted boundary of outer space. This reusable, autonomous rocket was rather close to reaching the maximum altitude that has ever been flown, which is 107 km or 66 miles above sea level.
This space journey included not one, but two first-time space-fliers who are the first from their countries to be part of the experience. Mario Ferreira, an entrepreneurial spirit and president of Pluris investments, was the first Portuguese space flier, alongside Sara Sabry from Egypt, the proud founder of the non-profit organization, Deep Space Initiative. Sabry was already familiar with the space dynamic, given her career background and being a former Blue Origin crew member, which granted her sponsorship. Ahead of the flight, Sabry announced the happy news with her followers via Instagram. “I am incredibly honored to have been selected by @spacehumanity to go to Space with @blueorigin,” she wrote. “I’m even more honored to be representing my country by making history – for Egyptians, for African women, and for Arabs. My ancestors have always dreamt big and achieved the impossible, and I plan on bringing that back. This is my origin story.”
Completing the team of six were the following: Coby Cotton, famed for his Dude Perfect sports and comedy channel on YouTube which has now gathered over 57 million followers, Vanessa O’Brien, a former banking executive, Steve Young, CEO of Young Communications, and Clint Kelly, who brought her technical expertise to the table. While Blue Origin is setting strong examples for the future of space tourism, they have now flown a total of six crewed flights as part of their agenda. There have been 31 passengers so far, including the recent six that have ventured into space through this suborbital vehicle.