Saturday, November 4, 2023

Saudi Astronauts Set for Private Mission to ISS


The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) has reported that two Saudi astronauts, Rayyanah Barnawi and Ali al-Qarni, will be travelling to the International Space Station (ISS) for the first time on a private mission to conduct 14 experiments focused on human research, cell sciences, and cloud seeding experiments in the microgravity environment. The mission is organised by private space company Axiom Space and is part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 reform programme aimed at reducing the country’s dependence on oil and creating jobs for young Saudis. The involvement of Saudi male and female students in scientific experiments conducted on the ISS is also aimed at expanding space science education in the kingdom. Barnawi, the first female Arab astronaut and breast cancer researcher, said she is looking forward to sharing her experience with Saudi youth. The mission is scheduled to blast off in a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral in the US state of Florida on Sunday.

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