Nora Al Matrooshi, the Arab world’s first female astronaut, and Mohammed Al Mulla were confirmed as the UAE’s newest astronauts in a landmark announcement on Saturday.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, welcomed the pair to an elite club of Emiratis when revealing the news.
They join Hazza Al Mansouri, the first Emirati to journey into space, and Sultan Al Neyadi, who was part of the back-up crew for that momentous mission to the International Space Station in September, 2019.
Life will be transformed for the new members of the UAE’s burgeoning astronaut corps.
For Nora Al Matrooshi, it is a giant leap forward for womankind.
But what do we know about the man and woman chosen from out of more than 4,000 hopefuls?
The National takes a closer look at the nation’s latest standard bearers in the space sector.
Who is Nora Al Matrooshi?
The UAE history-maker is a 27-year-old mechanical engineer who has always dreamt of going to space.
An Abu Dhabi native, she has been working for the capital’s National Petroleum Construction Company for the past few years.
She has a number of achievements to her name, including being the vice president of the Youth Council for three years. She is also a member of the American Association for Mechanical Engineers.
Who is Mohammed Al Mulla?
Mr Al Mulla is a pilot, with more than 1,500 flight hours under his belt. He was born in Dubai in 1988.
Mr Al Mulla works as a pilot at the Air Wing Centre and is also the head of the training department there. His career spans an impressive 15 years.
He holds a commercial pilot’s license, has a bachelor’s degree in law and economics, as well as an executive master’s in public administration from the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government.
His career achievements include being the youngest pilot in Dubai Police at 19 years of age. He also received a bravery medal from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.