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Saturday, 11 June 2011

Proud Pakistanis: Namira Salim


Namira Salim born 1975 in Karachi, Pakistan, is a Pakistani explorer who is the first Pakistani to have reached the North and South Poles. She will also become the first Pakistani to travel into space after she was shortlisted among 100 space tourists by the world's first commercial space liner Virgin Galactic in 2007 out of 44,000 candidates. Salim has said she hopes her achievements are an inspiration for Pakistani women. 


Namira Salim, a Pakistani National became the first Asian to Skydive Everest as part of the “First Everest Skydive 2008.”  Not only did a select few dive from an altitude above Mount Everest, 29,480 feet, she also made history as the first jumpers ever to skydive from the roof of the world.





She is the first Pakistani to trek to both the North and South Poles. She hoisted the national flags of Pakistan, the UAE, Monaco, the EU and a universal peace flag at the North Pole on April 21, 2007 and at the South Pole on January 10, 2008. 


Sir Richard Branson, chairman of the Virgin Group, officially launched Namira Salim as a Virgin Galactic Founder Astronaut in Dubai in March 2006. Hearing of this, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting dubbed her the “First Pakistani Astronaut”.



Salim’s space voyage will be the second flight launched into space by Branson. Her flight will be launched from the space port in Mojave Desert in California. “We will be in space for a few hours and then come back,” said Salim.

Talking to a Private News Paper, Salim said that this was a dream come true for her.  All her hard work and training will soon pay off. Although the date for the launch is not yet fixed, she says her team is ready.
Namira Salim was an active member of astronomy clubs in college and university and was also the first female member of the Amateur Astronomy Society of Pakistan. She was feted for her groundbreaking achievements by President Zardari, who awarded her the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz for excellence in sports.

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