The teen has been told by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed to keep inspiring others.
She’s only 14, but Alia Al Mansouri is already looking to the future.
The Emirati schoolgirl hopes to be among the first astronauts to land on Mars – and then raise the UAE flag – one day.
And the Dubai teen looks set to make her dreams become a reality after winning the prestigious Genes in Space competition.
Al Mansouri took out first place thanks to her proposal to study how exposure to space affects the health of live organisms at a cellular level.
She claimed the crown at the Global Space Congress in Abu Dhabi earlier this month, beating another 109 entries for first place.
“I’ve always felt that this is what I’m born to do, this is for me,” the teen told The National.
“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.”
Al Mansouri’s experiment will now be conducted in real life, with samples launched from the Kennedy Space Centre and tested by astronauts on the International Space Station.
The teen was also treated to a reception with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, who shared a video of his meeting with the schoolgirl on social media.
“It felt like I was sitting down with someone I have known for a long time, who I could get advice from,” Al Mansouri told The National.
“He told me to continue being innovative and inspire others in this field.”
We reckon Al Mansouri is the perfect candidate for the UAE’s just-announced project to build a city on Mars by 2117…
Image: Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed/Instagram