Namira Salim, an adventurer, was the first person from Pakistan to go into space on Friday. She was on Virgin Galactic‘s fifth successful flight in five months, the US company said.
Salim was one of the first people to buy a ticket with millionaire Richard Branson’s space company after it opened almost twenty years ago. He has been to both poles and parachuted over Mount Everest.
Dubai-based first Pakistani national Namira Salim flies to space
“I love being called the “first Pakistani astronaut.” It makes me feel like a star of my country. In 2012, Salim told AFP, “Maybe nicer than being a princess.”
From Space back to Earth! Flat Pakistani Astronaut. First Female Virgin Galactic Founder Astronaut! And many more Firsts! ✨🚀✨ pic.twitter.com/yliUjwtQOB
— Namira Salim (@namirasalim) October 6, 2023
The company Virgin Galactic said Salim also lives in Monaco and the United Arab Emirates. The company said that she is the first person from Monaco and the first woman from the United Arab Emirates to go to space.
American Ron Rosano and British Trevor Beattie were also on the trip on Friday, which was called “Galactic 04.” Beth Moses, who works for Virgin Galactic, and two pilots were also on board.
Virgin Galactic uses a special, twin-fuselage aircraft to take the passenger ship high into the sky, which is different from other vertical launched. The mothership then lets go of the spaceplane, which uses its engines to fly into space at speeds close to Mach 3.
People on board feel weightless for a few minutes, during which time they can do somersaults and look out the window at how the Earth curves. Then it floated back down and landed a little more than an hour after taking off from New Mexico’s Spaceport.
Blue Origin, the company owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos, has already sent 31 people into space using a vertical liftoff rocket. Virgin Galactic rivals with Blue Origin in the “suborbital” tourism market.
But Blue Origin’s rocket has been banned since an accident in September 2022 while it was flying by itself. The accident was looked into by the US aviation regulator until the end of September. Before the company could start flying again, they were asked to make some changes.