Namira Salim (Urdu: نمیرا سلیم;born in Karachi, Pakistan) is a citizen of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and is an explorer and artist. She is the first Pakistani to have reached the North Pole in April 2007 and the South Pole in January 2008, feats that occurred a century after being first achieved by others. She also holds the distinction of being the first Asian and first Pakistani to skydive over Mount Everest during the historic First Everest Skydives 2008. Namira, being the only Pakistani member of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, the world's first commercial space liner, is widely known as the first Pakistani to travel into space.
Namira Salim is the first Pakistani and first woman from Monaco and Dubai to have reached the North Pole in April 2007 and the South Pole in January 2008. She also holds the distinction of being the first Asian to Skydive (tandem) over Mount Everest during the historic First Everest Skydives 2008.
Namira, being one of the earliest Founders of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, the world's first commercial space liner, is widely known as the First (future) South Asian Space Tourist and First (future) Monaco and Dubai Resident to travel to Space. She was short-listed among 100 space tourists in 2005 out of 44,000 candidates and launched personally to the world press by Sir Richard Branson himself in March 2006. Subsequently, in August 2006, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of the Government of Pakistan officially launched Namira as the "First Pakistani Astronaut" who has said she hopes her achievements are an inspiration for women and youth.
In October 2007, Namira trained and qualified for her suborbital Spaceflight at the NASTAR Center in the United States, under the supervision of Virgin Galactic. In February 2008, she presented her Sub-Orbital Spaceflight Training Certificate to former President Pervez Musharraf.
Namira Salim is a distinguished resident of the Principality of Monaco since 1997. She holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University and her personal efforts led to the diplomatic accreditation between Pakistan and Monaco in February 2009. His Serene Highness Prince Albert II's Sovereign Ordinance dated 1 August 2011, authorized Namira Salim to practice her function as the First Honorary Consul of Pakistan to the Principality of Monaco. On March 2012, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II, the Sovereign Prince of Monaco inaugurated the first Consulate of Pakistan in a high-profile ceremony organized by Namira Salim at the prestigious Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. In 2007, Namira served as Honorary Ambassador of Tourism for Pakistan, appointed by the Ministry of Tourism.
Support for Virgin Galactic
Despite the Virgin Galactic crash in November 2014, Namira Salim remained loyal to its spaceflight programme and was the only female Founder to appear live from Monaco during global interviews with top British broadcast  and print media.
Namira Salim is the Founder of SpaceTrust, a non-profit initiative that promotes Space as the New Frontier for Peace via novel peace theme initiatives to inspire change, encourage dialogue and enrich education. Its inaugural event, an interactive exhibition and conference was held in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco on 29 November 2015, a high profile initiative, for which Namira secured official partnerships with State Space Corporation - ROSCOSMOS, the Russian Space agency, SUPARCO, the National Space Agency of Pakistan and other leading establishments affiliated to the Princely Government. Three cosmonauts at the International Space Station delivered an exclusive video message on this occasion to address Space Trust’s and its audience during the high-profile Conference. The main feature of the interactive exhibition, which contained seven customized APPs, was a 3.5 meter “Black Marble Earth” depicting the latest night view of Earth from Space, acquired by the Suomi NPP Satellite in nine days in April 2012 and thirteen days in October 2012, over 312 orbits.
Exhibitions & Documentary
Namira's art has come to voice global issues at top UN and UNESCO summits, in addition to her events and exhibits under the Patronage of Royalty from Monaco and the UAE. In May 2002, she held a solo exhibit "Peace Making with Nation Souls" which was an official supporting event to the UN General Assembly Special Session for Children. In October 2000, she exhibited solo at UNESCO's Executive Board under the theme Peace & Soul. In September 2000, Namira held a solo exhibition “Purely A Soul Affair” and in May 2011 a documentary launch, “Beyond the Poles” in Dubai, under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman Emirates Airline & Group for the inspiration of youth. The documentary, filmed and directed by Namira, captured her journey to the three poles and milestone events with Sir Branson and Virgin Galactic since 2006. It premiered in Pakistan at the largest Airforce Academy in Risalpur in May 2011, upon the personal invitation of Chief of Air Staff and in France during the OIC Day at UNESCO in September 2011.
Through all her art exhibits and polar expeditions, Namira Salim has been honored for avidly promoting Peace and goodwill. On 23 March 2011, H.E. Asif Ali Zardari, President of Pakistan conferred Namira with one of the country's highest civil decoration Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (Medal of Excellence). She was awarded the Power 100 Trailblazer Award by Pakistan Power 100, in London in September 2013 for her efforts to promote international peace and harmony. Namira Salim also had the distinction of being placed on the Pakistan Power 100’s “Women Power 100” list amongst other eminent personalities like former National Assembly Speaker Fahemida Mirza and former Foreign Minister Hina Rabanni Khar.
- AFP TV - Virgin Galactic Charts New Flight Plan at Farnborough
- Columbia University Magazine - Airfare for the Common Man
- Diplomat Magazine - The Daring Diplomat
- Hofstra University Alumna of the Month - March 2008: Namira Salim
- Huffington Post - Virgin Galactic Founder Astronaut Namira Salim: 'We Should Send Politicians Into Space'
- Khaleej Times - Pakistan Embassy honours two women’s efforts for peace
- Monaco Matin - Comment Namira est devenue aventurière de l'espace
- Tribune Pakistan - Pakistan’s ‘first’ astronaut: Namira Salim looks forward to fulfilling lifelong dream