Pakistan’s trailblazing space explorer, Namira Salim, the nation’s first female space traveler, is urging the government to implement a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education system, particularly for schoolgirls. Emphasizing the importance of providing opportunities for girls in various fields, Namira envisions their active participation in the global community in the future.
In a telephonic interaction on Saturday, Namira expressed pride in being Pakistan’s first female space traveler and shared her determination to pursue even greater goals. Having waited 17 years for her journey to space, she remains committed to advancing her adventurous pursuits.
Namira, who also planted the national flag at both the North Pole and South Pole, described her space travel experience as transformative. Witnessing the Earth from orbit, she highlighted the indescribable beauty of the blue, brown, and white world, where she observed both sunrise and sunset. President Dr. Arif Alvi had presented her with a national flag before her historic space journey, symbolizing Pakistan’s presence in space.
Embarking on the Galactic 04 mission with Virgin Galactic on October 7, 2023, Namira made history as the first Pakistani woman in space, launching from Spaceport America in New Mexico, USA.
Expressing her passion for space exploration, Namira disclosed her collaboration with universities in the USA and Kenya to create mini-satellites. The unique project involves students constructing mini-satellites that will orbit Earth, broadcasting messages from world leaders, prominent figures, and religious scholars to promote love for humanity.
When asked about supporting the government and local universities, Namira expressed her readiness to provide technical assistance and collaborate with educational institutions and students. Envisioning the future era as one of commercializing space activities, she urged Pakistan to participate in American or Russian space programs and engage the private sector in fostering STEM education.
Namira underscored the need for the government to involve the private sector in creating platforms and opportunities for students, particularly schoolgirls, in STEM education and advanced studies. This, she believes, will elevate the intellectual capabilities of local schoolgirls, enabling them to compete internationally.
Namira Salim expressed her desire to meet caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, where she intends to share valuable suggestions aimed at promoting women’s empowerment and STEM education in Pakistan.