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Saudi Arabia to send first female astronaut into space

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will send the Kingdom’s first female astronaut and a male astronaut to the International Space Station (ISS) during the second quarter of 2023. 

Astronauts Rayyanah Barnawi and Ali AlQarni will join the crew of the AX-2 space mission, Axiom Space’s second all-private astronaut mission to the ISS. 

“The step aims to empower Saudi capabilities in human spaceflight geared towards serving humanity and benefiting from the promising opportunities offered by the space industry”, the Saudi Press Agency said.

The spaceflight is scheduled to launch from the United States to the International Space Station. The Saudi Human Spaceflight Program includes the training of two more astronauts, Mariam Fardous and Ali AlGamdi, on all mission requirements.

Previously launched by the Saudi Space Commission (SSC), the Saudi Human Spaceflight Program is a collaboration with Axiom Space to train Saudi astronauts and bolster SSC’s space exploration.

The space mission is historic as it will make the Kingdom one of the few countries in the world that brings two astronauts of the same nationality aboard the ISS simultaneously.

Source: Arab News

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