Space for Humanity has announced that its selection committee has selected Sara Sabry to become the organisation’s second sponsored Citizen Astronaut. Sara will become the first Egyptian to fly to space when she flies aboard Blue Origin’s NS-22 flight, as a result. She will join five other crew members including Coby Cotton, Mario Ferreira, Vanessa O’Brien, Clint Kelly III, and Steve Young aboard New Shepard to experience the cognitive shift of the Overview Effect and incorporate that new found perspective into a social impact project with the support of S4H’s Citizen Astronaut Program (CAP).
Sara, 29, is an Egyptian mechanical and biomedical engineer and founder of Deep Space Initiative (DSI), a nonprofit which aims to increase accessibility for space research. She became Egypt’s first female analog astronaut in 2021, when she joined a two week analog Moon mission, that simulated the extreme conditions astronauts experience in Space.
Speaking on the occasion, she noted that “When we dare to dream big, we achieve things deemed impossible, we break boundaries, write history, and set new challenges for the future. I am incredibly excited that Space For Humanity has offered me this opportunity and honoured to be representing Egypt in Space for the first time. My ancestors have always dreamt big and achieved the impossible, and I hope to bring that back. This is just the beginning”.
“Many Egyptians have lost hope in our future and my hope is that by going to space, I can contribute to changing that; to bring hope to people, and to make them proud of where they come from. I believe that sharing my experience with the world will motivate the younger generation of Egyptians to pursue education and help change the perception of women in the Arab world, showing the world what we are truly capable of,” added Sara.
Sara earned her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in biology, chemistry, and pre-med at the American University in Cairo, going on to earn a master’s in biomedical engineering from the Politecnico di Milano. She is now pursuing a PhD in aerospace sciences focusing on space suit design. Fluent in Arabic, French, and English, Sara grew up in Cairo and currently resides in Berlin. She shared that kids in the Western world grew up watching rocket launches, but children in the Arab world were mostly unaware of these exploits. Accordingly, this is why she is co-founding the Space Ambassadorship Programme with the Egyptian Space Agency to shed light on the important research opportunities and potential to benefit life on Earth.
Space in Africa partnered with Space for Humanity in 2019 to drive the advancement of Space for Humanity’s mission in Africa: recruiting ambassador applicants to drive a more inclusive and diverse representation of the world for those who can access space. Commenting on the partnership, Space in Africa’s MD, Temidayo Oniosun, said, “The partnership focuses on driving the Space for Humanity’s programme initiative across Africa, in line with the company’s objectives of fostering space awareness on the continent.”
Sara’s emergence as Space for Humanity’s second citizen astronaut is in fulfilment of Space in Africa’s partnership aims with Space for Humanity to recruit ambassador applicants to drive a more inclusive and diverse representation of the world. Before Sara’s emergence, only one African has gone to space. In 2002, South African entrepreneur, billionaire and the founder and CEO of Canonical Ltd, Mark Richard Shuttleworth, became the first African to travel to space as a space tourist on board a Russian spaceflight programme.
Sara and the rest of the astronauts will carry a postcard to space on behalf of Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future, whose Postcards to Space program gives students access to space on Blue Origin’s rockets. The Club’s mission is to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM for the benefit of Earth. This mission will be the sixth human flight for the New Shepard program, the third flight this year, and the 22nd in its history. Blue Origins will announce the flight date soon.
Faleti Joshua is an avid lover of space in all its incomprehensible nature. He holds both an LL.B and a B.L degree. Joshua is a lover of music and a lawyer in his free time.