Islamabad: Namira Saleem, who is training to become Pakistan’s first astronaut, has become the first Asian to skydive from a height higher than the Mount Everest.
Saleem skydived from a height of 29,480 feet. “That included one minute of free fall, meaning I had to open the parachute one minute after jumping from the aircraft,” she told BBC Urdu. For a moment, she said, she felt as though she was “suspended” in the air.
She became the first Pakistani to reach the North and South poles in April 2007 and January 2008 respectively. Saleem said she did not need a lot of training for the jump and that she did it with only a few weeks’ of exercise.
Saleem decided to skydive when her dream of conquering the highest mountain in the world remained unfulfilled. “It was due to this unfulfilled fantasy that I decided to participate in the project of skydiving from a height of more than the Everest,” she said.
She is now training to be the first Pakistani to go into space in 2009.