February 29, 2024

UAE’s Nora Al Matrooshi Set to Graduate from NASA’s Astronaut Training Program in the Coming Year

A female Emirati trainee astronaut will graduate from a NASA program early next year. She will be the first of her kind from the United Arab Emirates. This implies that she will meet the requirements to participate in space missions led by the United States.

Since January of last year, Nora Al Matrooshi and Mohammed Al Mulla have been undergoing training at Nasa’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas.

They are the newest trainee astronauts from the UAE. They will follow in the footsteps of Hazza Al Mansouri, the first Emirati to go to space, and Sultan Al Neyadi, who is currently on the longest space mission in the Arab world while aboard the International Space Station.

On Friday, a spokesperson from the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre revealed that Emirati trainee astronauts Nora Al Mastrooshi and Mohammed Al Mulla completed a rigorous training program in the USA. This was part of Nasa’s 2021 astronaut-candidate-class-training program. According to the representative, they expect to finish their training and qualify as astronauts eligible for flight by early 2024.

Last year, Maj Al Mansouri and Dr. Al Neyadi completed the program and graduated. In 2020, Ms. Matrooshi received the honor as the first Arab woman to join an astronaut corps. However, last month, Rayyanah Barnawi from Saudi Arabia became the first Arab woman to embark on a space mission when she went on an eight-day trip to the ISS.

Training Highlights: Rigorous Exercises for Emirati Trainee Astronauts at NASA

On Thursday, NASA released a video showcasing the training sessions of mechanical engineer Ms. Al Matrooshi and former Dubai Police helicopter pilot Mr. Al Mulla.

The group participated in a survival training program in a secluded forest at the US Army Aviation Centre of Excellence in Fort Rucker, Alabama. During the course, they acquired essential skills such as constructing fires, creating shelters, and procuring food and water. This training took place in conjunction with their Nasa counterparts.

In 2018, Maj Al Mansouri and Dr. Al Neyadi underwent survival training in Russia.

During their training at the Gagarin Astronaut Training Centre in Moscow, they spent a year enduring days in the wilderness in freezing temperatures.

Ms. Al Matrooshi and Mr. Al Mulla visited the V20 Thermal Vacuum Chamber at the Marshall Space Flight Centre in Alabama. The chamber is currently being used to simulate lunar environments.Also, the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory in Houston is where they learned how to wear a spacewalking suit that weighs around 130kg. Also, the trainee astronauts will receive training on flying T-38 supersonic jets and familiarize themselves with the space station’s systems.


Nora Al Matrooshi, an Emirati who is training to be an astronaut, will make history when she becomes the first Emirati woman to finish the program and meet the standards for upcoming US space missions. This achievement shows that the UAE is passionate about space travel and building a diverse group of astronauts.

Last Updated on 2 months by newseditor

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