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Saudi successfully launches own astronauts to space station

Saudi successfully launches own astronauts to space station

AFP image.

Riyadh: Making history, Saudi Arabia successfully launched its spaceship, carrying its first female astronaut from the Kingdom, Rayyanah Barnawi, to the International Space Station (ISS). The ship also included Barnawi’s colleague Ali Al-Qarni, Arab News reported.

The Axiom Space 2 mission carried the two, along with astronaut Peggy Whitson and leading businessman John Shoffner after being launched at 5:37 pm (EDT time). Shoffner is also a pilot.

A breast cancer researcher, Barnawi, had expressed his excitement about representing Saudi Arabia as well as the Saudi Space Commission before the launch. The country’s first female astronaut, she said that the space voyage opportunity is a dream come true for her and everyone involved. She added that it is an honour for her to represent the Kingdom.

The four travellers will be staying in ISS for eight days, and they will conduct 20 research projects. Out of that, 14 were developed by scientists in Saudi, which cover the fields of human physiology, cell biology, and technology development.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carried out the launch, while a backup launch opportunity was scheduled on Monday at 5:14 pm.

The launch was from the same spot from where Saudi’s first astronaut Prince Sultan bin Salman took off in 1985.

Astronaut Al-Qarni shared pictures on his Twitter account on Saturday, the contents of the bag added to his space trip.

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TAGS:Saudi Arabiaspace researchSpaceX
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