Saudi Arabia is making waves by sending their first Saudi female astronaut, Rayana Barnawi to space this year.
To congratulate both Barnawi and Ali Al Qarni who will accompany her on this mission, Princess Reem Bint Bandar Al Saud, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States of America visited them this week.
She visited them in Houston and toured the facilities of NASA Johnson with Axiom Space where the astronauts are currently training and even saw the site’s mission control center first-hand.
In a post shared on her feed, the caption said, “I had the pleasure to meet with #Saudi astronauts Ali & Rayyanah (the first Arab & Muslim female astronaut) who will shape science through 11 experiments which they’ll take park in while joining the Ax-2 space mission’s crew this quarter.”
I met with #Saudi astronauts Ali & Rayyanah (the first Arab & Muslim female astronaut) who will shape science through 11 experiments which they’ll take part in while joining the Ax-2 space mission’s crew this quarter.@saudispace @Astro_Rayyanah @AstroAli11#Saudi_towards_Space pic.twitter.com/uv5ctQ3xwo
— Reema Bandar Al-Saud (@rbalsaud) March 21, 2023
With an additional set of images shared on her Twitter feed, she wrote, “It was a privilege to visit @NASA_Johnson in Houston and tour their facilities including the Mission Control Center, and see our astronauts in training. I would like to thank NASA and @Axiom_Space for their gracious hospitality.”
Set to make history, the mission comes nearly 40 years after the Kingdom had sent the first Arab, Prince Sultan bin Salman to space in 1985.
Scheduled to launch from the US to the ISS, Barnawi and Al Qarni will join the crew of the AX-2 space mission, to activate scientific innovations at the level of space sciences and develop human capital by attracting talents and necessary skills to keep in line with the country’s 2030 mission.
Swipe through the gallery to see portraits from Princess Reema’s visit to the International Space Station: