Saudi Arabia to send its 1st female astronaut to space this year

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Saudi Arabia's first female astronautSaudi Arabia's first female astronaut is set to go into space this year, in what is seen as a move to reform Saudi Arabia's ultra-conservative image.

An overview of the news

  • Saudi female astronaut Rayna Barnawi will join Saudi Ali Al-Qarni on a 10-day mission to the International Space Station (ISS) this year.

  • Barnawi and al-Karni will fly to the ISS aboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft as part of a mission by American privately funded space infrastructure developer private space company Axiom Space .

  • The Ax-2 will be launched by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, America.

  • Another fellow Emirati, Sultan Al-Neyadi will also visit the space station at the end of February 2023.

  • Axiom Space launched its first private astronaut mission to the ISS in April 2022, with four private astronauts spending 17 days in space orbit.

  • In 2019, Saudi Arabia's neighbouring United Arab Emirates became the first Arab country to send a citizen into space. Astronaut Hazza al-Mansoori spent eight days on the ISS.

  • In 1985, Saudi royal prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz participated in a US-organised space mission, becoming the first Arab Muslim to travel in space.

Saudi Arabia 

  • King - Salman

  • Capital - Riyadh

  • Currency - Saudi Arabian riyal

  • Official Language    - Arabic

  • Official Religion - Islam

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