The first Saudi female astronaut blasts off into space

The spaceflight took off from the USA…

Saudi Arabia just made history yesterday (Sunday May 21), when the first Saudi female astronaut Rayyanah Barnawi and Saudi male astronaut Ali Al Qarni successfully launched towards the International Space Station.

The Saudi astronauts are on board the Axiom Space 2 mission alongside former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson and  US pilot John Shoffner.

According to Arab News, the team will have an eight-day stay during which they will attempt to complete 20 projects, 14 of which are projects developed by Saudi scientists covering areas like human physiology, cell biology, and technology development.

In addition, the Saudi Human Spaceflight Program also includes the training of two more Saudi astronauts, Mariam Fardous and Ali AlGamdi, on all mission requirements.


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The Chairman of the Saudi Space Commission, Engineer Abdullah Bin Amer Al-Swaha, expressed that the Kingdom’s leadership will be giving unlimited support to the space program to enhance the country’s ability to independently conduct its own research.

The milestone mission has also made Saudi one of the only countries to bring two astronauts of the same nationality on board the International Space Station simultaneously. The mission aims to empower national capabilities in human spaceflight as well as promote research in health, sustainability, and space technology.

It’s a pretty incredible moment for us here in Saudi, and it’s only going onwards and upwards (literally), from here on now.

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