Engineer Sara Sabry is Egypt's first female analog astronaut and will be the first from Egypt to fly to the space when she joins New Shepard’s 22nd space flight (NS-22). File photo
Sabry, 29, was chosen along with five others to fly to space on New Shepard’s third flight this year, including entrepreneur Mário Ferreira, who will be the first person from Portugal to fly to space.
Other members of the crew are British-American mountaineer Vanessa O’Brien, American technology leader Clint Kelly III, telecommunications executive Steve Young, and Coby Cotton, cofounder of the YouTube channel Dude Perfect.
The date of the mission will be announced soon, the company said.
“I am honored 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,” PR Newswire quoted Sabry as saying after the NS-22 crew announcement.
“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, showing the world what we are truly capable of,” she added.
New Shepard is a reusable suborbital rocket system operated by Blue Origin, a space tourism company owned by Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos.
Since 2015, the space vehicle has flown astronauts to space on board 21 successful tourist flights.
Sabry, the founder of the nonprofit Deep Space Initiative, which aims to increase space research accessibility, became Egypt’s first female analog astronaut after completing a two-week analog Moon mission last year.
Sabry earned her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the American University in Cairo and her master’s degree in biomedical engineering at Italy’s Polytechnic University of Milan.
She is also currently preparing for her PhD in aerospace sciences with a focus on space suit design, according to Blue Origin.
Sabry’s seat in NS-22 is sponsored by the Colorado-based nonprofit Space for Humanity (S4H), which is concerned with increasing access to space for all of humanity.
Sabry will be the organisation’s second astronaut to fly onboard the NS-22 after astronaut Katya Echazarreta last month.
“When we dare to dream big, we achieve things deemed impossible, we break boundaries, write history, and set new challenges for the future,” Sabry said.
“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,” added Sabry.
The Egyptian Space Agency (EGSA) congratulated and voiced support to Sabry on Saturday on her planned trip onboard the NS-22.
Executive Director of Space for Humanity Rachel Lyons congratulated Sabry on being chosen for this life-changing adventure.
“We know she will be an incredible ambassador for our mission and look forward to seeing how she uses this opportunity to change the world,” Lyons added.
*Read Al-Ahram Hebdo’s interview with Sara Sabry*