(Image credit- ANI News)
A ground-breaking private mission to the International Space Station (ISS) is about to launch from Florida this Sunday, May 21, so get ready for a momentous occasion.
This Axiom Space-organized mission, which will carry the first two Saudi astronauts, including the first Saudi woman to travel into space, will be a significant milestone.
Axiom Space Crew, a 4-person crew
Rayyanah Barnawi, a brilliant breast cancer researcher who will make history as the first Saudi woman to travel to space, will join a four-person crew.
Ali Al-Qarni, a capable fighter pilot, also serves on the Axiom Mission 2 (Ax-2) crew with her.
At precisely 5:37 p.m. (2137 GMT), a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will blast off from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral in Florida to carry the astronauts on their historic voyage.
Mission commander Peggy Whitson, a seasoned NASA astronaut on her fourth trip to the ISS, and pilot John Shoffner, an accomplished businessman from Tennessee, will travel with them on this incredible journey.
According to the reports, this amazing team will spend around 10 days on board the ISS, with their expected arrival set for Monday at around 1:30 pm.
First Saudi female astronaut
Barnawi recently expressed her utter excitement and honor at being selected as the first Saudi woman astronaut during a press presentation.
She stressed the enormous importance of representing her community and the exciting chance to carry out a study in the boundless universe.
For its Raptor Static Fire Test, SpaceX sends Ship 25, the newest Starship Prototype, to the launch pad.
Aware that seeing astronauts from their own region will definitely capture their imaginations, Barnawi also expressed her eagerness to share her amazing experience with kids while on board the ISS.
Al-Qarni, on the other hand, has been drawn to this extraordinary opportunity by his longstanding enthusiasm for discovering the undiscovered and his reverence for the heavens.
He expressed his deep thanks for the opportunity to follow his ambition and possibly soar to the stars as a career jet pilot.
Although Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz took part in a US-organized space mission back in 1985, this is Saudi Arabia’s first journey into space. Nonetheless, the participation of a Saudi woman in a space mission demonstrates the nation’s continuous dedication to shedding its ultraconservative reputation.
The Saudi Space Commission was founded in 2018 and a program to launch Saudi astronauts into space was started the previous year.
Investigations in Space
During their stay on the ISS, the Ax-2 crew will undertake almost 20 ground-breaking experiments.
Studying the functioning of stem cells in the unusual setting of zero gravity is one particularly noteworthy experiment.
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They will join the current seven-person crew on board the International Space Station (ISS), which consists of three Russians, three Americans, and Emirati astronaut Sultan al-Neyadi, who just last month became the first person from the Arab world to do a spacewalk.
According to the reports, this journey to the ISS is Axiom Space’s second time working with NASA as the ISS key holder. Axiom Space is a pioneering private space firm that provides extremely uncommon opportunities for space travel, although at a cost.
The business oversees the astronauts’ in-depth training, plans their travel, and makes sure everything runs smoothly throughout their stay on the ISS.