Dubai-based Pakistani astronaut gears up for historic space journey


Pakistan’s first female astronaut, Namira Salim, is gearing up for an unprecedented voyage into the cosmos. The Dubai expat is poised to begin her celestial expedition on October 5, heralding a momentous achievement in Pakistan’s pursuit of space exploration.

Virgin Galactic Holdings has officially disclosed that the Galactic 04 flight window is set to commence on October 5, 2023.

Namira has already clinched the position of Astronaut No. 6, thanks to Richard Branson. On November 29, 2022, the Founder Astronaut of Virgin Galactic designated her seat, and her first chance for the journey will be facilitated by Astronaut 019, marking the first Pakistani to launch into space.

Cosmos mission

The Galactic 04 mission features three private astronauts who contribute diverse backgrounds and cultures to the venture, united by their shared enthusiasm for space, exploration, and adventure. One of the astronauts, designated as Astronaut 017, hails from the United States, while another, Astronaut 018, comes from the United Kingdom. Lastly, Astronaut 019 represents Pakistan in this remarkable mission.

Namira has officially been recognised as the First Pakistani Astronaut by the government of Pakistan in 2006. In 2007, Namira served as Honorary Ambassador of Tourism for Pakistan, appointed by the Ministry of Tourism. She was the first Pakistani to have reached the North Pole in April 2007 and the South Pole in January 2008.

She also holds the distinction of being the first Asian and first Pakistani to skydive over Mount Everest during the historic First Everest Skydives 2008. She is a peace activist and was conferred with ‘Tamgha-e-Imtiaz’ (Medal of Excellence) in 2011.

The President of Pakistan conferred Namira with one of the country’s highest civil decoration, ‘Tamgha-e-Imtiaz’.

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