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Saudi astronauts to launch to Space Station on Sunday

Saudi astronauts to launch to Space Station on Sunday

Cape Canaveral: Rayyanah Barnawi, the country's first female astronaut, and her colleague Ali al-Qarni are getting ready for their journey to the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday, making history in Saudi Arabia.

The two will participate in the Axiom Space 2 mission, which will lift off at 5:37 p.m. (EDT), according to NASA. John Shoffner, a business pioneer and pilot, and astronaut Peggy Whitson will also participate in the voyage, Arab News reported.

As the first female astronaut to represent Saudi Arabia and the Saudi Space Commission, Barnawi, a breast cancer researcher, expressed her excitement and honour. She emphasised her love of research and said that the opportunity was a dream come true for everyone concerned.

Whitson, Shoffner, al-Qarni, and Barnawi plan to complete 20 research projects during their eight-day stay on the ISS. 14 of them, including ones on human physiology, cell biology, and technology development, were created by Saudi experts.

A backup launch window for the planned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch is set for Monday at 5:14 p.m.

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