Namira Salim, a Dubai based Pakistani is the driving force behind the non-profit Space Trust. She is going to create history by embarking on a journey with Virgin Galactic, becoming the first Pakistani to reach space. This momentous event is scheduled to unfold today, on a Friday.
Expressing her anticipation on social media, the ardent space enthusiast declared,
“With the grace of the Almighty, I am honored to carry our national flag into the cosmos on October 6.”
Thank you @anwaar_kakar Honorable Prime Minister of Pakistan for congratulating me as #FirstPakistaniAstroaut and first woman to go to #space from Pakistan. Proud to fly the #national flag high in #space Insha’Allah on 6th October 2023 @virgingalactic #Galactic04. pic.twitter.com/LB49RYqhkn
— Namira Salim (@namirasalim) October 4, 2023
Apart from being the first Pakistani Astronaut to set foot in space, she is also the first female at Virgin Galactic to do so.
Our #Mission Patch for #Galactic04 is beautiful and tells our stories @trevorbmbagency @ronrosano and myself. Not to miss the little girl pointing to the star & her spaceship, as she becomes the #FirstPakistaniAstronaut and the #FirstFemale @VirginGalactic #FounderAstronaut. 🚀 pic.twitter.com/h7OtRJNKs5
— Namira Salim (@namirasalim) September 27, 2023
Joining Salim on this ground-breaking expedition are Trevor Beattie, a distinguished figure in British advertising, Ron Rosano, an esteemed educator in the world of astronomy. The trio will be joined by Beth Moses, the eminent chief astronaut instructor at Virgin Galactic.
The flight by Virgin Galactic was set to jet off to space on Thursday 5th October, however, recently they announced a minor adjustment in the timeline. The space voyage was delayed by a day, and is now set to take place today [Friday, October 6] due to additional vehicle prep and checks.
Launch update: The #Galactic04 spaceflight will now take place on the second day of our flight window – Friday, October 6 to give our team an additional day to complete vehicle prep and checks. We look forward to taking to the skies in a few days!
— Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) October 1, 2023
Salim finds herself in the esteemed company of the Galactic 04 crew, Virgin Galactic’s fourth mission in 2023. She stands as one of the select trio of paying customers who will embark on a suborbital adventure aboard Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity spaceplane.
The epic journey will commence with the majestic liftoff of Virgin’s Unity, a spectacle set to unfold from New Mexico’s Spaceport America. The chosen suborbital trajectory promises passengers several blissful minutes of weightlessness, allowing them to savor the rare sensation of floating amidst the cosmos. However, it’s important to note that this expedition will not reach the exalted realm of orbital space but will offer passengers an enchanting view of Earth’s curvature set against the infinite backdrop of outer space.
Namira Salim to be Joined by Pakistan’s First Space Pilot
What adds an intriguing layer to this cosmic voyage is the presence of Pakistani-Canadian pilot Jameel Janjua at the helm of VMS Eve, the carrier aircraft that will ferry the trio beyond this world and into space.
Jameel Janjua, has an impressive record of over 4,000 flying hours across more than 45 different vehicles, is a seasoned expert in his field. He will join forces with fellow aviators Kelly Latimer and CJ Sturckow as they navigate the intricate maneuvers of the space plane. Once the mission has reached its zenith, both vehicles will gracefully return to the terrestrial embrace of Spaceport America, marking the end of an extraordinary journey into the unknown.
The adventurous Namira Salim has been a space enthusiast and bought the space ticket from Virgin Galactic in 2006 for $200,000, the price has now gone up to $450,000. She is also the first Pakistani to have visited the North Pole in April 2007 and South Pole in January 2008.
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