UAE News Today : Politics

Space tourism: Dubai resident will be the first Pakistani woman to go to space


Dubai: Dubai resident Namira Salim will become the first Pakistani space tourist when she takes the commercial flight from the US as part of the Virgin Galactic 04 space mission on Friday, October 6.

Namira, who completed her three-day pre-flight training on October 5, told Gulf News that she has been waiting for this moment for the past 17 years. In 2006, Namira joined the Virgin Galactic Founding Astronaut Club as one of the first 100 future space tourists for a suborbital spaceflight on Virgin Galactic’s commercial liner. She is the only aspiring Pakistani space tourist to have bought a ticket for Virgin Galactic’s future commercial space liner.

Pakistani Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar also tweeted to congratulate Namira. “Good luck Namira Saleem. I wish her success as she is set to make history on October 6 by becoming the first Pakistani woman to travel to space,” she tweeted. She further said that Pakistani women are making the entire nation proud by proving themselves as pioneers in multiple fields.

“I’m looking forward to experiencing weightlessness in space and becoming the first Pakistani female ‘astronaut’,” Namira said after completing her training flight at Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport in New Mexico, USA

“I’m excited to finally break orbit and I’m looking forward to going to space with my favorite fellow Founders,” she added.

Of his training session, he said: “We learned how to perfectly adjust our spacesuits and parachutes. We were also trained on the functionality of our custom-made seats on the spacecraft and how to fasten and unfasten our seat belts to leave our zero-gravity seats properly oriented and take the necessary steps to maximize our experience in space. “We also learned to make smooth movements to avoid hitting windows or other astronauts and to deflect naturally when floating in zero gravity.”

Namira Salim posing for photographers in her space suit in New Mexico, USA.
Image credit: supplied

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Holdings has officially revealed that Galactic 04’s flight window will begin on October 6, 2023. The spacecraft will carry three passengers, including Namira, who will experience five minutes of weightlessness in space and then fly from Return to the spaceport.

Sharing her journey, Namira said: “It seems like yesterday when, in March 2006, Branson arrived in Dubai on Virgin Atlantic’s inaugural flight. He also used the occasion to launch his newly created Spaceline, Virgin Galactic, in the United Arab Emirates.

“I was lucky to have been the first Virgin Galactic customer from the United Arab Emirates. As a resident of Dubai since 1981, Branson introduced me to the world press in Dubai. “

During her long journey, Namira has attended every major event in the presence of Branson and his fellow ‘Foundering Astronauts’, watching the birth of Virgin’s MotherShipEve, named after Branson’s mother and commercial spaceship fleet. from Virgin Galactic.

Namira Saleem 4-1696516732785

Namir Salim receives help from spacecraft pilot Kelly Latimer for his training flight before his Virgin Galactic space mission.
Image credit: supplied

Space tourism is about making space accessible to everyone and a viable consumer industry that will make the price per ticket affordable for the next decade for anyone who has dreamed of going to space. The space flight cost Namira and other passengers more than $200,000 per person. Trevor Beattie, British marketing executive and Ron Rosano, American astronomy educator.

In total, six people will fly into space on Galactic 04. Mission commander Kelly Latimer and pilot CJ Sturckow will command VSS Unity. In the cabin, three private passengers will travel alongside Virgin Galactic’s chief astronaut instructor, Beth Moses.

“I have invested in the future of commercial spaceflight for the common man. This is not for the rich and famous and it is not an exclusive club, rather it is all-inclusive,” Namira commented.

Galaactiva space mission 04

Galactic 04 will carry a crew of three accompanied by the company’s chief astronaut instructor, as well as the two pilots in command of Virgin’s SpaceShipTwo vehicle, VSS Unity. Its flight to edge space is scheduled for Friday (October 6).

The mission will take off from Spaceport America in New Mexico. VSS Unity and its crew will be lifted to altitude by the spaceplane’s dual-cabin carrier aircraft, VMS Eve, which will release VSS Unity at about 50,000 feet (15,000 meters). After launch, firing VSS Unity’s rocket engine will put it on a suborbital trajectory, taking the spaceplane and crew to the edge of space for a few minutes of weightlessness and a great view of their home planet.

Who is Namira Salim?

Namira, born in Karachi, has lived in the United Arab Emirates since 1981. She also resides in Monaco.

On 23 March 2011, the President of Pakistan conferred on Namira the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (Medal of Excellence), Pakistan’s highest civilian award, for her achievements in sports, including her trips to the poles and the Everest skydiving event.

She was the first Pakistani to reach the North Pole in April 2007 and the South Pole in January 2008.

She is also the founder of the Space Trust, a non-profit initiative that promotes space as the new frontier for peace.

Namira has also served as Honorary Tourism Ambassador of Pakistan, appointed by the Ministry of Tourism.

He was awarded the Power 100 Trailblazer Award by Pakistan Power 100 in London in September 2013 for his efforts in promoting international peace and harmony.

She also has the distinction of being the first Asian and the first Pakistani to skydive over Mount Everest during the historic First Everest Skydives 2008.


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