With a goal to leave her signature on the canvas of the Earth, Sahda Haroon has been dreaming of being an astronaut ever since the third grade. A passion for solving problems and a thirst to know how things work drives this 16 year old to aim higher than the clouds. From being an academic to stepping out of the comfort zone, Sahda has a history of doing things out of the prescription of her society.
With all the talk about going to Mars, having her eyes on the red world and doing everything necessary to get there from a young age gets her the keys to unlocking many opportunities in the region. With a new fast growing space program, the personnel at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) and the Sharjah Academy for Astronomy, Space Sciences and Technology (SAASST) had guided and supported her from the early stages of her journey. From attending global events like the Global Space Congress and the Global Aerospace summit to meeting accomplished astronauts like Chris Hadfield, Charles Bolden, Scott Parazynski and Sandy Magnus, the UAE space agency has built Sahda a whole new world within the young Arab nation.
Apart from the support from the agency, Sahda's family, peers, school staff and mainly her principal became the reason for her being nominated for the prestigious 'Hamdan bin Rashid AL Makhtoum award for distinguished academic performance'. Sahda is also an active member of The Mars Generation (TMG), which is a nonprofit founded on the base to spread STEAM awareness. Joining the organization as a founding member and later doing work as a Student Space Ambassador (SSA) made Sahda to go forward and open the Scholars Astronaut club at her former school to provide a foundation for young passionate dreamers and the StarCeylors in Srilanka to inspire the next generation of aspiring STEAM enthusiasts and getting together a common base for all these people to potentially form a space agency in the region. As a TMG SSA, Sahda has been participating in most of the organization's outreach programs. With the experience from TMG, Sahda now conducts events and outreach programs in her community. Public talks, rocketry workshops and school visits are few of the cool stuff she gets to do.