Namira Salim, 52, will board the commercial space flight of Virgin Galactic on October 5.


Dubai expat to become first female space tourist from UAE, Pakistan’s first astronaut

A Pakistani expat in Dubai who bought a $200,000 ticket to fly to space on the Virgin Galactic is set to become the first female space tourist from the UAE and Pakistan’s first astronaut in October.

Namira Salim, 52, will be Astronaut No. 6 on the commercial space flight of billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic on October 5.

The Pakistan government has officially recognized Salim as the first Pakistani astronaut in 2006, after she bought her seat to the commercial space flight. Virgin Galactic also gave her the title of Founder Astronaut. Her scheduled space flight in October comes after a 17-year wait.

She will board Galactic 04 with two other space tourists from the US and the UK. According to Virgin Galactic, the space flights last for up to 90 minutes and passengers can experience four minutes of weightlessness before the plane returns to Earth. Seats on the Virgin Galactic now reportedly cost $450,000.

Salim has told media that traveling to space has always been her childhood dream. The adventurer has trained as a pilot, skydived near Mount Everest and traveled to the North Pole and South Pole.

She has completed her suborbital spaceflight training, and wants to dedicate her space flight to her parents, who passed away before they could see her travel to space. ICA/Expat Media

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