Namira Salim, First Pakistani in Space Congratulates India on Mars Mission

Sajjad Hussain/Islamabad
Namira Salim, First Pakistani in Space Congratulates India on Mars Mission

A Pakistani woman explorer, who will be the country's first person to go into space, today congratulated India for its triumph in maiden Mars mission, calling it a giant leap for South Asia.

Namira Salim, the only Pakistani member of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, the world's first commercial space liner planned for 2015, said that India's great success has made the entire region proud.

"The success of the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), Mangalyaan, is a giant leap for South Asia," Salim said.

"I commend the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and all its scientists and researchers for not only achieving this astronomical feat, but also for achieving it in the most cost-effective manner," she said.

Born in 1975 in Karachi, she is the first Pakistani to have reached the North Pole in 2007 and the South Pole in 2008. Pakistan has not yet officially congratulated India. Despite having a space agency since 1961, Pakistan has not yet launched a satellite into orbit.

India became the first nation in the world to successfully reach Mars on its first attempt when indigenously built 'Mangalyaan' unmanned spacecraft entered the orbit of Mars after a 10-month journey on a budget of just USD 74 million.  

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