Astronaut Namira Salim set to hoist Pakistan’s flag in space

DUBAI-In a major achievement for Pakistan, the country’s first female astronaut Namira Salim is gearing up for the historic journey to space, Khaleej Times reported. Namira, who is a Pakistani expat based in Dubai, will begin her celestial expedition on October 5. She is determined to hoist Pakistan’s flag in space. Space tourism company, Virgin Galactic Holdings, has announced that their Galactic 04 flight window will commence its trip next month. Namira has already clinched the position of Astronaut No 6 after the Founder Astronaut of Virgin Galactic Richard Branson designated her a seat. Her first voyage to space will be facilitated by Astronaut 019. The Government of Pakistan officially recognised Namira as the first astronaut in the country in 2006. She also served as honourary ambassador of tourism for Pakistan in 2007. Namira also became the first Pakistani to reach the North Pole in April 2007 where she also raised Pakistan’’s flag and the South Pole in January 2008. Based in Dubai, Namira, who had hoisted Pakistan’s flag at the North Pole in 2007 will begin her celestial expedition on October 5. Not only that, Namira also holds the distinction of being the first Asian and first Pakistani to skydive over Mount Everest in 2008. She was conferred with ‘Tamgha-e-Imtiaz’ (Medal of Excellence) in 2011. Caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi said that Namira Salim’s upcoming journey to space was a sign of Pakistan’s growing presence in space exploration and a major achievement for the nation. She briefed the caretaker minister about the preparations for her space journey, expressing her determination to raise the Pakistani flag in space. Solangi congratulated Namira Saleem on behalf of the Government of Pakistan, caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar and the people for starting the space journey and expressed good wishes for her success. Terming Namira Saleem as a role model for all women, Solangi said the young generation can raise the name of Pakistan in the world in various fields of life. “This effort of Namira Saleem will highlight the positive image of Pakistan as a peace-loving and progressive country,” he maintained.

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