Saudi space mission to launch on May 21, first Arab woman astronaut to embark on historic journey to ISS


The launch of the Saudi mission to space is scheduled for May 21, 2023. On this day, Rayyanah Barnawi, the first Arab Muslim female astronaut, and Ali AlQarni will travel to the International Space Station.

The mission is part of the Kingdom’s astronauts’ program, launched on September 22 last year. The mission represents Saudi Arabia’s ambitions in space research and is part of the goals of Vision 2030.

The Saudi space mission will launch from the United States and, more importantly, marks a historic moment for the Kingdom. The astronauts will conduct 14 pioneering scientific experiments in microgravity that will help scientists and researchers devise new ways to provide suitable conditions for humans to explore space further.

The results will advance the Kingdom’s global position in space exploration, aiming to serve humanity better. It will support Saudi research centres and have a scientific impact on future space exploration.

The astronauts will also conduct three educational awareness experiments with 12,000 Saudi students via live feed.

This mission, once accomplished, places the Kingdom as one of the few countries that will have had two astronauts simultaneously on board the International Space Station. Its success will enhance the Kingdom’s global position in space exploration and service to humanity.

It will represent a milestone for the Saudi astronaut program. The program is designed to prepare future astronauts and engineers for space through quality educational and training programs, participation in scientific experiments, international research and future space-related missions, achieving the goals of Vision 2030.


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