Saudi Arabia names first female astronaut to send into space
In its endeavor to build national capabilities in the field of manned space flights, and to take advantage of the promising opportunities offered by the space sector and its industries globally, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), on Sunday, revealed the name of the first female astronaut to send to the International Space Station (ISS) during the second quarter of the year 2023.
First Saudi female astronaut, Rayyanah Barnawi, and a male astronaut, Ali AlQarni, will join the crew of the AX-2 space mission, which is scheduled to launch from the United States, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
“Every journey has its pioneers and every mission has its heroes,” Saudi Space Commission said on Twitter.
Two other astronauts, Mariam Firdous and Ali Al-Ghamdi, will train in the Saudi human spaceflight program for all mission requirements.
This step also aims to contribute to scientific research that is in the interest of serving humanity in a number of priority areas such as health, sustainability and space technology.
There is a growing interest in space exploration on the part of other Gulf countries. In December 2022, Emirati space explorer “Rashid” set off towards the moon on a Japanese spacecraft on a 5-month journey.
This explorer will study the properties of the soil, rocks and geology of the moon and the movement of dust and plasma and the photoelectrosphere.
In September 2022, the Saudi Space Authority launched the Kingdom’s program for astronauts, with goals including: qualifying Saudi cadres for long- and short-term space flights, and participating in scientific experiments, international research, and future space-related missions and contribute to raising the status of the Kingdom and contribute to achieving the goals of the Kingdom’s vision 2030.