Mission with two Saudi astronauts to head to space in May

The Saudi Space Commission announced that Rayyanah Barnawi and Ali Alqarni (center) will fly to the ISS on the Ax-2 private astronaut mission with Mariam Fardous (left) and Ali Alghamdi (right) as backups. (Photo: Saudi Space Commission)
AMMAN Axiom Space and NASA officials on Thursday said a special mission will head to the International Space Station in May. Two Saudi astronauts will be on board.اضافة اعلان

The Saudi astronauts are astronaut Ali Alqarni and Rayyanah Barnawi, a breast cancer researcher who will be the first Saudi woman to go to space.

The mission also includes Peggy Whitson, a former NASA astronaut who has flown three times to the International Space Station, and John Shoffner, an American contractor who will lead the flight, according to the Washington Post.

‘Important step’Dr Muhammad Ababneh, Director of Thermal Systems at Blue Origin and NASA, said that this flight is “an important step in human spaceflight” that aims to serve humanity by achieving commercial and scientific space exploration goals, and to empower Arab movement towards space.

The Ax–2 mission will depart on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on May 8 from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

This mission is the second to the international station organized by Axiom Space.

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