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Saudi Arabia to deploy first female astronaut to the International Space Station

Saudi Arabia to deploy first female astronaut to the International Space Station

Saudi Arabia's space program aims to pique graduates' curiosity and cultivate human resources

The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) stated on Sunday that Saudi Arabia will send its first two astronauts, including its first female astronaut, to the International Space Station (ISS) in the second quarter of 2023. In a feat that supports the Kingdom's Vision 2030, Saudi citizens Rayyanah Barnawi and Ali al-Qarni will join the crew of the AX-2 space mission. The space mission is scheduled to launch from the US to the ISS.

The action intends to strengthen national spaceflight capabilities and assist the Kingdom in taking advantage of opportunities presented by the global space industry. It also aspires to make a contribution to scientific research that advances human interests in crucial areas including space technology, sustainability, and health. The space program also intends to enhance human capital by attracting talent and the requisite skills, as well as to increase graduates' interest in the subjects of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Astronauts Mariam Fardous and Ali al-Gamdi will also receive training for the mission, which is a part of the Saudi Space Commission's spaceflight programme, in addition to Barnawi and al-Qarni. Along with other international partners including Axiom Space, the work is being carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Sports, the General Authority of Civil Aviation, and King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center.


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