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Dubai, NFAPost: Noura al-Matroushi, one of the first two astronauts from the UAE along with Hazza Al Mansouri, said all aspiring ladies to travel to space need to strive hard to achieve their goals.

“The opportunities to achieve them exist, and even if the opportunities do not exist, we can create them,” said the budding astronaut from UAE at Dubai Expo. Noura al-Matroushi has completed his first year of training at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre – flying supersonic jets that travel faster than the speed of sound.

Noura al-Matroushi was at Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC) during Expo 2020 Dubai’s Space Week (17-23 October), in association with Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and the UAE Space Agency – one of 10 Theme Weeks that will take place throughout Expo, as part of the Programme for People and Planet.

When asked about her feeling after getting selected as the first Arab female astronaut, that too from UAE, Noura al-Matroushi said it is a great responsibility to be chosen as the first Arab female astronaut.

“The field of space exploration is not limited to a gender or a country: it is open to everyone. After seeing me, I want women in our Arab world to be encouraged to enter this sector,” said Noura al-Matroushi.

When asked about her training experience for space journey, she said the training was started at MBRSC along with her colleague Mohammed Al Mulla.

“We also started learning Russian. We have also received media training and will start flight training soon so we are better prepared when the training with NASA begins,” said Noura al-Matroushi.

She also made it clear that her first mission is yet to be decided. “I hope my first mission will be to the moon, so I can say I’ve made one footstep on the moon,” she said.

“I always dreamt of becoming an astronaut, ever since a teacher transformed the classroom into the surface of the moon, inspiring us with information about the Earth and the planets in our solar system,” said Noura al-Matroushi.

When asked about the importance of Expo 2020 Dubai, she said it is providing the opportunity for countries to meet in one place, and for the best minds to gather in one place to discuss ideas, innovate and develop ideas.

By bringing together views from so many different countries, Noura al-Matroushi said the Expo is offering a platform for humanity to work with each other and build a better future for today and for future generations.

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