This Dubai schoolgirl looks like she could become the UAE’s first astronaut.

“There’s no impossible.”

That’s the message Alia Al Mansouri wanted to spread after her experiment was launched into the atmosphere from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center this week.

The 15-year-old, who studies in Dubai, got to send her project into space after winning the 2017 Genes in Space competition earlier this year.

Al Mansouri, who also hopes to be among the first astronauts to land on Mars one day, was invited to the world-famous Kennedy Center to watch her experiment take flight.

 

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The teen took out first place in the prestigious annual contest with a proposal to study how exposure to space affects the health of live organisms at a cellular level.

Samples were loaded aboard the Space X Falcon 9 rocket, which blasted off on Monday in the US, and will be tested by astronauts on the International Space Station.

The samples will be returned to Earth later for evaluation.

“I want to be an astronaut when I grow up, so it’s amazing that I get to see actual astronauts doing my experiment in space,” Al Mansouri told NASA’s Amanda Griffin in an interview – and one royal has the utmost faith in that happening.

princess haya

HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein congratulated Al Mansouri for her achievements, both past and potential, just last week, drawing attention to her Genes-in-Space-winning idea.

“This is an incredible and impressive experiment and even more so given that Alia is just 15 years old,” said HRH in an Instagram post.

أبارك للطالبة علياء المنصوري (15 عاماً) لفوزها بمسابقة “الجينات في الفضاء 2017” السنوية التي أطلقتها وكالة الإمارات للفضاء عام 2015 بالتعاون مع صحيفة “ذا ناشيونال” وشركة “بوينج”، والتي تدعو الطلّاب إلى تصميم تجارب علمية تتعلّق بالحمض النووي لإجرائها في الفضاء.. بهذا الفوز الرائع… سيتمّ إرسال التجربة العلمية التي صمّمتها الطالبة علياء إلى المحطة الفضائية الدولية. وتقوم التجربة على فحص مدى خطورة حدوث طفرة في خلايا روّاد الفضاء إثر تعرّضهم للإشعاع والجاذبية الضعيفة (الناجمة عن وجودهم في مدار حول كوكب الأرض). وستقوم علياء بإرسال بروتينات خاصّة إلى المحطّة الفضائية، حيث سيتمّ إخضاعها لتفاعل كيميائي متسلسل ومن ثمّ إعادتها لعلياء لاستكمال تجربتها وتحليل إمكانية حدوث طفرات..هذه التجربة التي صمّمتها علياء تبعث على الدهشة والإعجاب في آن معاً، سيّما وأن علياء لا تزال في مقتبل العمر.. علياء مصدر للإلهام… أتمنّى لها التوفيق والنجاح في تجربتها. فموهبتها التي تجلّت في هذه المسابقة ستمهّد الطريق أمامها لتحقيق حلمها في أن تصبح أول رائدة فضاء إماراتية بإذن الله. Reaching for the stars – A huge congratulations to 15-year-old Alia Al Mansoori who recently won the 2017 Genes in Space competition – an annual competition, first launched in 2015 by the UAE Space Agency, The National and Boeing, which challenges school pupils to design experiments to be conducted in space. Alia’s self-designed science experiment will now be sent to the UAEs International Space Station! Her plan is to test the risk of cell mutation in astronauts from exposure to radiation and microgravity. Alia will send heat shock proteins to the space station, where the astronauts will use a polymerase chain reaction machine on the cells. Alia will then get the cells back and complete the analysis of possible mutation. This is an incredible and impressive experiment and even more so given that Alia is just 15 years old. Alia is a real inspiration and I wish her the best of luck with her experiment. With the talent and focus she has shown in this competition I know Alia’s dream of becoming the UAEs first astronaut will one day become a reality.

A post shared by Haya Bint Al Hussein (@hrhprincesshaya) on

“Alia is a real inspiration and I wish her the best of luck with her experiment.”

Al Mansouri beat another 109 entries for first place, and enjoyed an audience with HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, shortly after her win.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed

“I’ve always felt that this is what I’m born to do, this is for me,” the teen told The National at the time.

“I’ve always wanted to be an astronaut. When I go to Mars, hopefully I’ll be taking an Emirati flag with me and I’ll be planting it on the planet.”

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And Princess Haya, for one, believes it’s only a matter of time until her goals come to fruition.

 
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“With the talent and focus she has shown in this competition, I know Alia’s dream of becoming the UAEs first astronaut will one day become a reality,” the royal wrote.

This teen is one to watch, that’s for sure…

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Image: HRH Princess Haya/Instagram