Mishaal Ashemimry is the first Aerospace Engineer woman in the GCC and the first Saudi woman to join NASA. She was born in the US and is currently a consultant for one of the largest defence in space contractors in the US. She is also the CEO of her own company, MISHAAL Aerospace, which she founded at the age of 26, to design rockets for small low-Earth orbit satellites. Ashemimry has also succeeded in developing her own rocket series: The M Rocket Series.
Her passion for space started while staring at the stars in the Unayzah desert while she was visiting Saudi with her family at the age of 6. “When I look back at the moment I was inspired, when I was six, it somehow puts things into perspective. I guess you can say I get my inspiration through my younger eyes staring at the sky in awe and enthusiasm,” Mishaal said in an interview with Destination KSA.
She studied Aerospace Engineering at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida, and graduated with two majors: Aerospace Engineering and Applied Mathematics. Ashemimry also obtained her Master’s Degree in Science in Aerospace Engineering from the same institute, and her research, which was based on Nuclear Thermal Rockets, was funded by NASA Marshall Space Flight Centre.
Beside all the great achievements from being an Aerospace Engineer, Aerospace Entrepreneur, Commercial Pilot and Scuba Diver, Ashemimry’s ultimate goal is to become an Astronaut. She also aims to educate and inspire people about her field targeting Arab youth, using her social media platforms to reach as many people as she can, as well as playing part in webinars and conferences. In 2015, Ashemimry won the award for ‘Inspirational Woman of the Year’ at the Arab Woman Awards.
“One must be positive and hopeful no matter how hard it might get. You must recognize that success is not an entitlement, success is something you must prepare for in order to succeed” Ashemimry says in an introduction video on her official website.