Meet The Two Saudi Astronauts Who Will Make History On The ISS
PARIS, France - - Two Saudi astronauts, Rayyanah Barnawi and Ali AlQarni, have announced that they are fully prepared for their upcoming space journey to the International Space Station (ISS), scheduled for May 21, 2023.
The two astronauts participated in a press conference on Tuesday, during which they revealed the final details of their scientific mission and expressed their excitement and pride in representing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in space.
Barnawi, who will be the first Arab Muslim female astronaut, said that she had been working in scientific and medical research for ten years and that she is eager to conduct experiments and explore the space environment. She also said that she will take her dreams of Saudi and Arab women to space, as well as a pair of earrings that her grandmother gave her.
AlQarni, who is a pilot in the Air Force, said that he is looking forward to working on the cloud-seeding experiment in space and testing its effectiveness and impact on humanity. He also said that he is proud to be an extension of the homeland’s accomplishments in space.
The two astronauts have completed a rigorous nine months of training for the flight which is planned for launch in May 2023. They will join U.S. astronauts Peggy Whitson and John Shoffner on board the Axiom Space mission, which will last for ten days.
The Saudi Space Commission (SSC) has supervised the Kingdom’s programs for astronauts and provided them with all the necessary resources and support. The SSC has also confirmed the Saudi astronauts’ readiness for the mission and highlighted its historical importance for the Kingdom and the region.
The mission is expected to launch a new phase for the Kingdom in space and contribute to inspiring future generations. It will also enhance the scientific cooperation between Saudi Arabia and other countries in the field of space exploration.