Rayyanah Barnawi, a breast cancer researcher from Saudi Arabia, has made history as the first Arab woman to travel to space. Sponsored by the Saudi government, Barnawi was joined by fellow Saudi Ali al-Qarni, a fighter pilot, on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The pair took off on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in the southern United States and will spend just over a week on the ISS before returning home. Barnawi expressed her excitement about sharing her experience with children while on the ISS and al-Qarni spoke of his passion for exploring the unknown. The mission is the second private flight to the space station organised by Houston-based Axiom Space and is part of NASA’s efforts to expand low-Earth orbit across the globe.