Sara Sabry, the first Egyptian Astronaut, has departed for Space today. The Flight took off at Launch Site One today, August 4, at 1:57 pm (GMT) and landed about 10 minutes later. Two weeks ago, Space for Humanity (S4H) announced that its selection committee had chosen Sara Sabry as its second citizen astronaut. As a result, Sara has become the first Egyptian, African woman, and second African to go to space.
Blue Origin also released the NS-22 mission patch. A few of the symbols embedded in the design include:
- The Pyramids of Egypt, representing Sara Sabry’s heritage and celebrating her accomplishment as the country’s first astronaut;
- The Mariana Trench, representing Vanessa O’Brien’s feat in reaching Challenger Deep, Earth’s deepest point;
- The crew capsule’s depiction as a basketball, symbolising Dude Perfect’s trick shots and Coby Cotton’s role in co-founding the company;
- Magellan’s ship, representing Mário Ferreira’s Portuguese heritage and lifelong passion for adventure;
- The fish swimming below Magellan’s ship, symbolising Steve Young’s passion for fishing;
- The stagecoach, representing Clint Kelly III’s aspirations for humanity’s reach into the new frontier of space; and
- New Shepard’s booster and the West Texas mountains.
NS-22 was the sixth human spaceflight for Blue Origin. The first, in July 2021, sent company founder Jeff Bezos to space along with his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Wally Funk and student Oliver Daemen. New Shepard flew two more crewed flights in 2021 and has now flown three of them in 2022.
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, only one African had travelled 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 carried 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.
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.