Launch on May 8 for a private mission to the International Space Station (ISS) with Saudi astronauts

Riyadh – This week, a space mission launching from Florida on May 8 with two Saudi Arabian astronauts, including the first Saudi and Arab woman in orbit, made the announcement.

In a virtual press conference, the Saudi Space Commission, NASA, SpaceX, and Axiom Space announced that the astronauts would be flying on a private mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

Breast cancer researcher Rayyanah Barnawi will fly into space for the first time as a Saudi, and she will be accompanied by fighter pilot Ali Al-Qarni.

In a meeting to discuss the trip, representatives from Axiom Space and NASA stated that the Axiom Mission 2 (Ax-2) rocket launch on May 8 at 10:43 p.m. ET (05:43 a.m. KSA) from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral is planned.

The four-person crew will spend 10 days on the ISS after arriving there in a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft.

The first Saudi to travel to space was air force pilot Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz in 1985 as part of a US-led space mission.

The UAE has also participated in space missions, and an Emirati astronaut named Sultan Al-Neyadi just began a six-month stint on the International Space Station (ISS).