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Saudi astronaut Rayyanah Barnawi to blast off to ISS on May 21
Barnawi and Ali Al Qarni have been tasked with conducting 14 experiments in microgravity during the mission
May 21 will mark a big milestone in Saudi Arabia’s history as the kingdom is all set to send its first female astronaut to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of its astronaut program, launched last year in September. After the launch, she will become the first Arab woman to orbit Earth at the ISS.
Rayyanah Barnawi, a breast cancer researcher, is about to become the kingdom’s first woman astronaut to orbit the Earth in the ISS as a mission specialist on the Ax-2 mission.
“A biomedical researcher with almost a decade of experience in cancer stem-cell research, Barnawi will be working to facilitate Saudi Arabia’s scientific research as a mission specialist aboard Axiom Space’s second private astronaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS), Ax-2. Barnawi will be making history as the first Saudi female astronaut to go to space and one of the first Saudi astronauts to visit the ISS,” reads Axiom Space’s website.
Even during the mission, the Saudi astronaut will focus on research on stem cells and breast cancer.
Barnawi, with astronaut Ali Al Qarni, will take off for the ISS as part of the kingdom’s space research program, also a part of Vision 2030. The mission will be launched from the US.
The two astronauts have been tasked with conducting 14 experiments in microgravity during the mission to devise new methods for further exploration in the cosmos, advancing the kingdom’s global position in the domain of space exploration.
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