February 22, 2024

Saudi Arabia’s First Female Astronaut Set to Travel to ISS on May 22

Saudi Arabia’s First Female Astronaut Set to Travel to ISS on May 22:

After being delayed by two weeks, two Saudi astronauts are now scheduled to travel to the International Space Station on May 22. Rayyanah Barnawi, the first Saudi woman astronaut, and Ali Al Qarni were supposed to launch on May 9, but the journey to the International Space Station had to be canceled after they delayed another launch last month. They are part of the Axiom Space 2 project, with retired NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson and American pilot John Shoffner.

Countdown To Lift-Off: Space-Bound Saudi Astronaut Set To Embark On Historic Mission To The ISS

On Saturday, NASA announced the target date and that a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket would launch from Florida at 1.37 a.m. GMT (May 21, 5.37 p.m. ET). This space trip will be the first mission for Saudi Arabia’s new astronaut program and a 10-day journey to the orbiting laboratory. They are joining UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi, who is on a six-month mission on the station. The mission comes nearly 40 years after the monarchy launched its first citizen, Prince Sultan bin Salman, into space on Nasa’s Space Shuttle for a week-long stay.

Ms. Barnawi will make history as the first Arab woman to go to the International Space Station (ISS). Last August, Sara Sabry, an Egyptian engineer, was the first Arab woman to travel to space by embarking on a Blue Origin space tourism flight.

The space agency of Saudi Arabia, known as the Saudi Space Commission, is currently working towards creating a space program that is sustainable. Saudi Arabia aims to recruit a long list of astronauts, and Ms. Barnawi and Mr. Al Qarni will be the first among many to come.

Mishaal Ashemimry, in charge of microgravity research at the Saudi Space Commission, stated last month that the kingdom is contemplating extended space expeditions. She stated their desire and goal to conduct extended stay missions that use the microgravity environment. According to Ashemimry, the human space flight program has three main goals: training multiple astronauts, involving various local entities in research, and strengthening international research partnerships in microgravity. These efforts will cover various areas, from human health to physical science.

During their trip, these two Saudi astronauts will conduct various scientific experiments assigned to them by universities based in Saudi Arabia.


Saudi Arabia will achieve a significant milestone in its space program by launching its first female astronaut, Rayyanah Barnawi, to the International Space Station. This event is of great historical significance. Saudi Arabia’s investment in space exploration is a testament to its determination to break down barriers and expand opportunities for its citizens, especially women. With plans for extended space expeditions and a focus on microgravity research, the Saudi Space Commission aims to make major contributions to the global space community.

Last Updated on 2 months by newseditor

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