Saudi astronauts successfully dock at ISS

(Photo: SpaceX)
AMMAN — A private rocket carrying the first Arab woman astronaut blasted off on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday, May 21 at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time and successfully docked with the ISS today. اضافة اعلان

Rayyanah Barnawi, a breast cancer researcher, and Ali Al-Qarni, a fighter pilot from Saudi Arabia are the first Saudi astronauts to voyage into space in decades. 

Also aboard Freedom are are two US private astronauts, Peggy Whitson, a former NASA astronaut who now works for Axiom Space, and businessman John Shoffner.

Freedom docked successfully with the ISS tending its 17 hour orbital chase. 

They will be greeted at the ISS by Emirati Sultan Al-Neyadi, the first Arab astronaut to go on a long-term mission in space, and the first from the region to conduct a spacewalk who has been at the ISS since March. 

In a translated Tweet, Al-Neyadi said “Excited to welcome colleagues from the Ax-2 crew Peggy Whitson, John Shoffner, Ali Al-Qarni and Rayyanah Barnawi.. Hours and we meet here..Hours and the Emirati and Saudi flags meet side by side in space.”

Barnawi and Al-Qarni are the first Saudis to visit the ISS.

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