Saudi Arabia will send its first female astronaut into space this year.

  • A woman from Saudi Arabia will become the country’s first female astronaut to go on a space mission at the end of 2023.
  • Rayyana Barnawi will join fellow Saudi astronaut Ali Al-Qarni on a 10-day mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
  • Barnawi and al-Karni will fly to the ISS aboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft as part of a mission this spring by private space company Axiom Space.
  • Former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson will also be on her fourth flight to the ISS. Meanwhile, John Shoffner, a Tennessee businessman, would be the pilot.
  • The crew will be launched into space by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
  • The neighboring United Arab Emirates became the first Arab country to send a female astronaut Noura al-Matrooshi into space in 2021.
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