Namira Salim, the founder and chairperson of the Space Trust, is set to etch her name in history by becoming the first Pakistani to journey into space. Embarking on her voyage today with Virgin Galactic.
Salim expressed her enthusiasm on social media: “Proud to fly the national flag high in space Insha’Allah on October 6.”
She won’t be alone on this monumental journey; British advertising guru Trevor Beattie and American astronomy educator Ron Rosano will accompany her. Virgin Galactic’s chief astronaut instructor, Beth Moses, rounds off the team.
Earlier this week, Virgin Galactic announced a one-day postponement of this highly anticipated space tourism flight to Friday, October 6. As part of the Galactic 04, Virgin Galactic’s fourth 2023 mission, Salim is among three privileged customers journeying into suborbital space aboard the VSS Unity space plane.
The Exciting Suborbital Expedition
Departing from New Mexico’s Spaceport America, the Unity will take its passengers on a suborbital path. This trajectory promises travellers several exhilarating minutes of weightlessness. Additionally, passengers will witness the breathtaking sight of Earth’s curvature juxtaposed against the vastness of outer space, all without entering orbit.
Taking the helm of the VMS Eve and ensuring a safe and thrilling voyage for the trio is Jameel Janjua, a Pakistani-Canadian pilot. With an impressive record of over 4,000 flying hours across 45 different vehicles, Janjua will be joined by fellow pilots Kelly Latimer and CJ Sturckow. After completing their mission, both aircraft are slated to return to Spaceport America.
Pakistan’s Caretaker Prime Minister, Anwaar ul Haq Kakar, extended his hearty congratulations to Salim, recognizing her as the pioneering Pakistani woman venturing into space. He praised Pakistani women for their groundbreaking achievements in various domains, expressing his pride in their contributions.
The audacious adventurer Salim, who secured her Virgin Galactic ticket as early as 2006 for $200,000, has witnessed its value surge to $450,000. Besides her latest achievement, Namira’s past feats include becoming the first Pakistani to reach the North and South Poles in 2007 and 2008, respectively.