Saudi Arabia to send first female astronaut to space in second quarter of 2023

They will join the crew of the AX-2 space mission, which is scheduled to launch from the United States

By Agencies

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Saudi Arabia's first female astronaut Rayyanah Barnawi (C), male astronaut Ali AlQarni, to travel to space.
Saudi Arabia's first female astronaut Rayyanah Barnawi (C), male astronaut Ali AlQarni, to travel to space.

Published: Sun 12 Feb 2023, 7:53 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Mar 2023, 12:27 PM

Saudi Arabia on Sunday announced that it will send its first female astronaut, Rayyanah Barnawi, and a male astronaut, Ali AlQarni, to the International Space Station (ISS) during the second quarter of 2023. Both astronauts will join the crew of the AX-2 space mission, which is scheduled to launch from the United States.

This mission aims to enhance the country's capabilities in human spaceflight and contribute toward serving humanity and benefiting from the promising opportunities offered by the space industry, as well as contributing to scientific research in many aspects such as health, sustainability, and space technology.

In addition to Barnawi and AlQarni, two more astronauts, Mariam Fardous and Ali AlGamdi, are also being trained for future space missions as part of the Saudi Human Spaceflight Programme, reports Saudi Press Agency. The programme is supported by the Saudi Space Commission, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Sport, the General Authority of Civil Aviation, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, and international partners such as Axiom Space.

The Chairman of the Saudi Space Commission, Eng Abdullah Bin Amer Al-Swaha, emphasised the Kingdom’s commitment to give unlimited support to the space program. Through this program, the Kingdom seeks to activate scientific innovations at the level of space sciences, enhance its ability to independently conduct its own research that will reflect positively on the future of the industry and the country, increase the interest of graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and develop human capital by attracting talents and the necessary skills.

Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Tamimi, the CEO of the Saudi Space Commission, expressed his gratitude for the support and empowerment given to the commission, which has enabled the country to make major leaps into the space sector. He noted that human spaceflight is a symbol of a country's superiority and competitiveness in technology, engineering, research, and innovation.

The Saudi Space Commission also states that this programme comes in cooperation with a group of entities, led by the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Sport, the General Authority of Civil Aviation and King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, in addition to international partners such as Axiom Space, which specialises in human spaceflights and the development of space infrastructure in the USA.

This flight is an integral milestone of a comprehensive programme aiming to train and qualify experienced Saudis to undertake human spaceflight, conduct scientific experiments, participate in international research, and future space-related missions contributing to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

ALSO READ:


More news from Space