How Sarah Al Amiri Is Launching the UAE Into the Asteroid Belt

Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

When Sarah Al Amiri grew up in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), space wasn’t something that she—or really anyone else—paid that much attention to. That’s something that you might take for granted if you grew up in, say, the U.S. or Russia where space exploration is embedded into the cultural fabric of the country. But in the UAE, a country that was just 16 years old when Amiri was born, space just wasn’t a priority.

“When you grow up in the U.S., you already have those space programs there,” Al Amiri told The Daily Beast. “We didn’t have even a semblance of that when I was growing up. It was something you thought of as a fascination—not a career choice.”

It’s ironic then that she would go on to not only become the Minister of State for Science but also the first chairwoman of the United Arab Emirates Space Agency (UAESA). She deserved it too. After all, she had helped lead the UAESA’s Mars Hope mission to the red planet as the project’s science lead.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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