Saudi Arabia to send its first female astronaut to space in 2023


The Kingdom is continually making strides in the aviation and space sector.

Per the latest announcement by the Saudi Press Agency, Saudi will be sending its first female astronaut, Rayyanah Barnawi to the International Space Station (ISS) during the second quarter of 2023.

As another milestone for the country, Barnawi will be accompanied by a male astronaut, Ali Al Qarni. The duo will join the crew of the AX-2 space mission with the flight that is scheduled to launch from the US to the ISS.

Rayyana Barnawi will join fellow Saudi male astronaut Ali Al-Qarni on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS) “during the second quarter of 2023”, the official Saudi Press Agency said on Sunday.

Additionally, two more astronauts, Mariam Fardous and Ali Al Gamdi, will also be trained on all mission requirements and be part of the same crew.

After launching in 2018, this space programme has been part of Prince Salman’s 2023 vision for economic diversification. This initiative was introduced to increase the interest of graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in ordered to attract the right talent within the country.

With other GCC countries making an impact in this field, the UAE also selected its first female astronaut, as part of the UAE Astronaut programme in 2021.

Kudos to Saudi Arabia for yet another remarkable achievement in the pipeline.

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