Sara Sabry: Blue Origin launches Egyptian engineer on its suborbital spaceflight

Egypt’s first female analogue astronaut experiences a few minutes of weightlessness

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Blue Origin launched Egyptian engineer Sara Sabry on a suborbital flight on Thursday.

A New Shepard rocket carried Ms Sabry, 28, and five other passengers from a spaceport in West Texas to the edge of space, allowing them to experience a few minutes of weightlessness.

This was the sixth space tourism flight by the company, which has now launched 32 people.

The fully reusable suborbital vehicle lifted off at 5.57pm UAE time, lifting the crew capsule towards the final frontier.

Once the spacecraft separated from the booster, it soared 106 kilometres above the ground, bringing the passengers stunning views of Earth against the darkness of space.

The capsule then descended towards the Texas desert under three parachutes and retro engines, bringing the passengers safely back to the ground at 6.07pm.

Ms Sabry is a mechanical and biomedical engineer, and the founder of Deep Space Initiative, a non-profit group that works to increase accessibility to space research.

She is also Egypt’s first female analogue astronaut, having completed a two-week simulation of a Moon mission that recreated the extreme conditions astronauts experience in space.

She has dreamt of going to space since she was a child and hopes that her trip with Blue Origin will inspire other Egyptians.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

Ms Sabry’s seat on the NS-22 mission was sponsored by Space for Humanity, a non-profit group that is trying to expand access to space.

She is currently pursuing a PhD in aerospace sciences with a focus on space suit design.

Other passengers on the flight are Dude Perfect co-founder Coby Cotton, Portuguese entrepreneur Mario Ferreira, British-American mountaineer Vanessa O’Brien, technology leader Clint Kelly III and telecoms executive Steve Young.

Updated: August 05, 2022, 8:45 AM