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Tunisia-Mission to space: Interview with Rania Toukabri, Tunisia’s first female astronaut

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In an exclusive interview with Tunisie Numerique, aerospace engineer and the first Tunisian, Arab and African astronaut Rania Toukebri took us on a journey throughout her dreams and important moments in her professional academic life.

It all begins with a dream

From a tender young age, Miss Toukebri has dreamed of conquering space and designing spacecraft. But this doesn’t stop here! her maternal uncle, Ridha Abid turned out to be the first Tunisian engineer to work in NASA and throughout his life he fueled his dream and regularly spoke to her about space and celestial objects.

Dream takes shape:

Graduating in engineering specializing in instrumentation from INSAT, she expanded her studies in France and Germany in the design, verification and integration of spacecraft and took part in a work-study program in various projects of the European Space Agency to observe the Earth and explore space.

“From one sheet of research to another, I was capable to slowly realize my dream,” she said.

Concerning her mission, Ms Toukebri explained that she was selected for a pre-mission and not for a direct send to the moon.

She stressed that this is a simulation (conditions similar to those in space) that will be held at the conclusion of September 2021 for two weeks in Poland.

Indeed, this pre-mission consists of the first phase of the lunar mission.

She revealed that at the end of the training, she will be certified as an astronaut, despite not being picked to land.

Adding that the selection of astronauts to be sent into space will be made on a global scale.

The objectives of the lunar mission:

Some have theorised that the young expert’s mission will simply be to take pictures on the moon or aboard the ship. Nevertheless, she stated that she and her fellow researchers will carry out various scientific experiments on the Moon, deploy robots and set up a housing unit similar to a camp.

Miss Toukebri said that it was her pride and gratitude to represent Tunisia in this extraordinary mission that will propel the country into the space market.

When asked about the first sentence she will say with her foot on the moon, “Peace” she replied, believing that the final goal of all scientific work is to bring peace to the world.

The expert’s advice for young people:

Ms. Toukebri gave the following advice to young people:

  • Follow their dreams by making efforts to make them come true.
  • Have a plan and purpose.
  • Pay attention to advice.
  • Don’t take criticism personally
  • Be self-confident
    Preserve psychological health
  • Never give up in the face of obstacles and discrimination (on the basis of race, gender, etc.)

Special Word to Tunisienumerique readers:

 

“May God protect Tunisia and guide it to glory! Everyone has their own mission. Love what you do, love your job, concentrate on your work to excel and move forward. It takes everything to make a world, ”she indicated.

 

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