Dubai: Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported that Saudi Arabia made a declaration regarding sending the first Saudi woman astronaut on Sunday. Rayyanah Barnawi will be the first woman to fly to the International Space Station this year. Along with Rayyanah Barnawi, a Saudi male astronaut Ali Aqrami will accompany her during the second quarter of 2023. The two astronauts will join the team of the AX-2 space mission, which will take off from the United States.
The mission of the Saudi Human Spaceflight Program is to encourage national capabilities in human spaceflight and contribute to scientific research in different fields, including sustainability, health, and space technology.
It also wants to boost interest in STEM fields and attract expert individuals to develop human capital in the country.
Chairman of the Saudi Space Commission, Abdullah Bin Amer Al Swaha, stated that the leadership of the Kingdom is devoted to supporting the space program in the space sciences field and contributing to scientific inventions.
The CEO of the Saudi Space Commission, Mohammed Bin Saud Al Tamimi, expressed his gratitude and appreciated the encouragement and support delivered by the government that has helped in achieving significant progress in the space sector of the Kingdom.
This mission symbolizes the competitiveness and superiority of the country in technology, inventions, and engineering. Apart from this, the Kingdom will be one of the few countries in the world to have two astronauts from the same nationality on the ISS, which marks a historic moment for the country.
The Saudi Space Commission program works in cooperation with a different group of bodies like the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Sport, General Authority of Civil Aviation, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, including other international partners like Axiom Space, which is a leading provider of human spaceflight and space infrastructure development in the USA.
The above report mentions the first Saudi woman to fly to the International Space Station in 2023. It also includes the objective of the Saudi Human Spaceflight Programme of providing training and experience to the Saudis for participating in future space flights and thereby contributing to international research.