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UAE’s First Female Astronaut
News Bytes 04/22/2021 32 Comments

Just four years ago, the United Arab Emirates launched a grand space program. Now the Middle Eastern country has named its next two rocketeers. And this time, the list includes the first Arab female astronaut.

UAE’s spacecraft reached Mars in February. The arrival into orbit, behind the United States Mars landing and ahead of China, was a huge accomplishment for the fledgling program. It was also a first for the Arab world. (See Spacecraft Converge on Mars.) The country’s stated aerospace goals include putting an unmanned spacecraft on the Moon in 2024, building a human settlement on Mars by 2117, and developing 3-D printed houses for use on the Red Planet.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the ruler of Dubai, one of UAE’s seven emirates (similar to states). Sheikh Mohammed also serves as the country’s prime minister and vice president. He named the two new astronauts on Twitter.

His announcement recognized Noura al-Matroushi as the UAE’s first female astronaut. Her male colleague is Mohammed al-Mulla.

“I can proudly assure you,” Sheikh Mohammed said in a video message, “that a generation of young Emiratis will follow you.”

A government promotional video describes al-Matroushi, born in 1993, as an engineer at the Abu Dhabi-based National Petroleum Construction Company.

Al-Mulla, born in 1988, serves as a pilot with Dubai police. He also heads that agency’s training division, government sources say.

Countries in the Middle East have made recent progress in the field of aeronautics. The first Muslim in space was Saudi Prince Sultan bin Salman, who joined the crew of the shuttle Discovery in 1985.

Anousheh Raissyan, an Iranian-American telecommunications entrepreneur and millionaire from Dallas, became the first Muslim woman and first Iranian in space when she traveled as a self-funded civilian to the International Space Station in 2006. She reportedly paid $20 million to tag along on the mission as a tourist.

In 2019, Major Hazzaa al-Mansoori became the UAE’s first astronaut in space, spending an eight-day mission aboard the ISS.

The two new Emirati astronauts won selection from among more than 4,000 applicants in the UAE, a federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula. The pair will undergo training at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

If al-Matroushi ends up going on a mission, she could become the first Arab woman employed in space, the UAE government says.

“The nation gave me unforgettable moments today,” al-Matroushi tweeted on the day of the announcement. “I aim to work hard to script historical moments and achievements that will be etched forever in the memory of our people.”

(Newly named Emirati astronauts Mohammed al-Mulla, left, and Noura al-Matroushi, right, pose for an official photo. WAM via AP)

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Most recent comments

1st comment and a very annoyed person

‘She reportedly paid $20 million to tag along on the mission as a tourist.’ 20 MILLION DOLLARS?!?! For goodness sakes! $20 million to her is probably what $2 is to us! Urg. I mean it’s annoying how she spent so much money, yes to go to space, but it’s so much! And for what advantage? Anyway, sorry about this, it’s just annoying.
Wow, first female astronaut! Good for Al-Matroushi.

Agreed Mirela. It's annoying.

Agreed Mirela. It's annoying. But I'm glad she can go.

3rd comment

I am glad that she can go. Sometimes women don't have a terrible lot of rights over there in some places so that is a big step for the government to let a woman go. Good for them. And hey guys, what does it matter if 2M to her is like $2 to us? In the end, we will all receive riches from our Father in Heaven. He will reward us how He sees fit. Lets try not to compare ourselves to each other. And believe me, I can struggle with that too, but it is a test we come upon.


That is

That is cool that she was able to go into space.

Sixth comment

Good for her! Building a settlement on MARS by 2117. HELLOOOO people I dont think thats gonna happen ever cause God created earth specially for humans. @ Mirela What are you talking about?


+ Mars was not created for humans


Exactly. Like, study shows that God made earth JUST RIGHT for humans if things were just a little different we could not live. No other planets are made for humans, even though they might try to live there, you could never do it naturally like we live here.

9th comment

Yeah, I agree with Riley and Micah. Mars wasn't made for humans.
Ok, sure, it'd be fun to go do something SUPER cool, but I mean, I don't think I'd ever do that.

@Mirela J

XD Woah, I doubt the difference between our currency and theirs is quite that astounding.

this is mylee

thats so cool how she went to space ! That is a lot of money. I searched it up its around 544,000 dollars or so. that might be wrong but thats what that web site said....

this is mylee

also is it me or the picture look wierd??

this is mylee


Good for her, I think though

Good for her, I think though that people are crazy to think of trying to live on mars, I mean come on!!!!!!

@ Hesperus

No I didn’t mean that. I meant how we look at $2 is probably how she looks at $20 million. I exaggerated a bit though!

@ Micah

I mean one woman (Anousheh Raissyan) paid $20 million to go to space as a tourist. I was saying that all that money could be used in such a more useful and better way.


Riley: I don't personally agree with you. I think that the Earth is able to sustain all the peoples of the world, but I think God gave humans amazing brains to build and design, so I think that we can, and probably will eventually, build a settlement on Mars. It won't be as nice or perfect as Earth, and it will be a lot of work, but I still think humans can live on Mars. This is just what I think, sorry if I offended you.
Mylee: It really does look strange!

Come One Come All! To the

Come One Come All! To the stuck in the past page! Where you can be the first person to comment in over a year! 1st place gets 100,000 credits. 2nd place gets 50,000 credits and 3rd place gets 25,000 credits The Link for "The Stuck in the Past" page ---->
The place where you spend your credits --->

@ Caden

How do you use credits?

@ Caden

Yeah, how would use credits?

Humans may be able to live on

Humans may be able to live on Mars, but that won't be in their natural state. Only Earth can let man live in his natural form.
Also even if Mars was colonized and people could live there, I will not be among the volunteers for Mars. Maybe I would go to Mars for sightseeing (if travel to Mars becomes safe and possible) but not to live there. Though I probably won't be alive by the time that's possible.

@ Alaina H

Same as what I think.

Caden you is being (LOL)

Caden you is being (LOL) kinda weird what you mean 'credits'?


Did y’all hear about how the Mars rover Perseverance created oxygen on Mars?

@ Veronica (btw, you have a BEAUTIFUL name!!)

What?? That is... interesting... I never knew that! How does it make oxygen, if you know how, that is?

@ Alaina

I completely agree with you. I would never live on Mars. And I probably won't visit it ever, though. I mean, I bet the views would be pretty, but nope. Not for me! :)

Isabel F

The machine on the rover got carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and separated the oxygen molecules from the carbon dioxide molecules.



@ Veronica M

Wow! Thanks for sharing that!

@ Veronica

Hmm, interesting. I wouldn't know, I'm not very good with science and stuff lol XD


Mars was not created originally for humans to live on. You are right in that part. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try! God gave us this huge creation to explore!! I think it would be a shame to give up because God didn't put what we need on that planet. It would be pretty sweet if scientists (who, by the way, were put where they are by God) could find out a way to live on Mars. We should explore God's creation and find the beauty that he has hidden. Also, it doesn't say in the Bible, "Thou shalt only live on the earth I placed you on." or "Thou shalt not journey to the galaxy far, far away." or "Thou shalt not live on Mars and drink your own urine". XD

@ Addie


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