Breaking Barriers: Nora AlMatrooshi Makes History as First Arab Woman Trained by NASA for Astronaut Program

In a groundbreaking moment, Nora AlMatrooshi has become the first Arab woman to be trained by NASA for their astronaut program, breaking barriers and inspiring women all over the world.

By Megha Badiger
New Update
Nora AlMatrooshi

Image: Nora AlMatrooshi

On April 10th, 2021, history was made as Nora AlMatrooshi became the first Arab woman to be trained by NASA for the astronaut program. This milestone achievement has broken barriers and shattered glass ceilings for Arab women in the field of space exploration. Nora's story is one of determination, perseverance, and a passion for reaching for the stars. Let's take a closer look at her journey and the impact she is making on the Arab and global community.


From the UAE to NASA

Nora AlMatrooshi hails from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the first Arab nation to send an astronaut to space. This young Emirati woman's journey began in her hometown of Abu Dhabi, where she developed a fascination for space and space exploration. She pursued her studies in electrical engineering at the University of Sharjah and later completed her master's degree in mechanical engineering from the American University of Sharjah.

Becoming an Astronaut


Nora's dream of becoming an astronaut seemed far-fetched at first, as the UAE had no space program. However, in 2014, the UAE launched its first space program, and Nora saw her chance. She applied for the program and was selected out of thousands of applicants to be one of two Emirati astronauts. She joined the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, where she received rigorous training in various aspects of space exploration.

Making History at NASA

In 2020, Nora's journey took a monumental turn when she was selected by NASA to join their prestigious astronaut program. She is one of only 12 people selected for this program, and the first Arab woman to do so. This feat is not only a personal accomplishment for Nora but also a testament to the UAE's commitment to pushing boundaries and embracing diversity.


Breaking Barriers and Inspiring Others

Nora's selection as the first Arab woman to be trained by NASA for the astronaut program is a groundbreaking achievement. She has shattered stereotypes and proven that women, especially Arab women, can excel in male-dominated fields such as space exploration. Nora's journey has inspired countless women and girls in the UAE and the Arab world to dream big and reach for the stars.

Empowering Women in STEM


Nora's journey not only inspires young girls to pursue careers in space exploration, but also highlights the importance of empowering women in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The lack of representation of women in these fields has been a longstanding issue, and Nora's accomplishments serve as a powerful example of what women are capable of achieving in STEM.

The Future is Bright

Nora AlMatrooshi's journey is far from over. She is currently undergoing rigorous training at NASA, which includes learning Russian, survival skills, and advanced space science and technology. Her ultimate goal is to be selected for a mission to the International Space Station, making her the first Emirati woman in space. Her journey is a reminder that the sky is not the limit, and with hard work and determination, we can achieve anything.

In conclusion, Nora AlMatrooshi's selection as the first Arab woman to be trained by NASA for the astronaut program is a milestone achievement that has broken barriers and paved the way for future generations. Her journey is a testament to what can be achieved when we break free from traditional gender roles and embrace diversity. Nora is an inspiration to women, not just in the UAE, but all over the world, and we can't wait to see what she will accomplish next.

Latest Stories