Saudi Arabia to send first female astronaut to International Space Station in 2023 - GulfToday

Saudi Arabia to send first female astronaut to International Space Station in 2023

Maryam Firdous, Rayana Bernawi, Ali Al-Qarni and Ali Al-Ghamdi pose for a photograph.

Gulf Today Report

Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday that it will dispatch first Saudi female and male astronauts to the International Space Station during the second quarter of 2023.

The Saudi Space Commission said Saudi female and male astronauts Rayana Bernawi and Ali Al-Qarni will join the crew of the AX-2 space mission with the aim of building national capacities.

In the field of manned flights for humanity, taking advantage of the promising opportunities offered by the space sector and its industries globally, and contributing to scientific research that is in the interest of serving humanity in a number of priority areas such as health, sustainability and space technology.

The scientific journey will start from the United States of America to The International Space Station, noting that the program includes training a female astronaut and two other astronauts on all mission requirements, namely Maryam Firdous and Ali Al-Ghamdi.

Abdullah Bin Amer Al-Sawaha, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Space Commission, explained that Saudi Arabia, in light of the unlimited support of the leadership, seeks through the astronaut program to activate scientific innovations at the level of space science, and to enhance its ability to conduct its own research independently, which will reflect positively on the future of industry and the homeland, and increasing the interest of graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and developing human capital, by attracting talent and developing the necessary skills, indicating that Saudi Arabia is counting on the astronaut program to strengthen its position in the global race towards space and its exploration.

The mission also aims to raise its position in the world map among countries that are racing to space and investing in its specialized sciences.

The CEO of the Saudi Space Authority, Dr. Muhammad bin Saud Al-Tamimi, stated that the support and empowerment that the authority found from leadership is the main driver behind the broad steps and qualitative leaps of Saudi Arabia in the field of space, by overcoming all the difficulties and obstacles facing the sector, stressing that space flights.

The astronaut program comes in cooperation with a group of entities, led by the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Sports, the Civil Aviation Authority, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, in addition to the Axiom Space company, which specializes in manned space flights and the development of space infrastructure in the United States of America.

It is noteworthy that the Saudi Space Authority launched the Saudi Astronaut Program earlier, and this trip comes as part of an integrated package with the aim of qualifying experienced Saudi cadres to go into space flights and participate in scientific experiments, international research and future space-related missions, and contribute to raising the status of Saudi Arabia and contributing to achieving the goals of the Kingdom’s vision. 2030.

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