All you need to know about the first Arab woman to fly into space on an Axiom Space mission

This is a proud moment for every girl, especially women from Saudi Arabia. Rayyanah Barnawi, a Saudi Arabian breast cancer researcher, is preparing to fly into space as the first Saudi woman to do so. The rocket took off on its mission to the ISS on Sunday.

Rayyanah Barnawi

The first Arab woman to go into space is actually a breast cancer researcher from Saudi Arabia. Not only Rayyanah Barnawi, but also Saudi Ali al-Qarni also belonged to Saudi Arabia and was part of the mission as a fighter pilot. These two are actually the first Saudi astronauts to go to space in decades.

The mission took off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The rocket came from Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Southern United States. Take-off time is 5:37 p.m. local time.

The launch was carried out from the Kennedy Space Center and the crew included a retired NASA astronaut and businessman, now owner of the company that arranged the visit.

The liftoff was actually the second private flight to the space station organized by Axiom Space. It was last year that the company sent a former NASA astronaut along with three entrepreneurs to space.

Before creating an independent outpost for recruitment, Axiom Space plans to add its rooms to the International Space Station (ISS).

Passenger ticket prices are not known, but Axiom Space previously announced ticket prices of $55 million each. The duration of the mission will be 10 days.

NASA’s latest price list sets the food fee at $2,000 per person per day. Additionally, it states a fee of $1,500 for a sleeping bag.

What does it mean for Saudi Arabia?

This is big and proud news for Saudi Arabia. Al-Qarni and Barnawi are the first Saudis to visit by rocket in decades. The last time this happened was in 1985 when the Saudi prince launched the space shuttle Discovery. Tickets for Al-Qarni and Barnawi are sponsored by the Saudi Arabian government.

This is truly a strong move by the Gulf Kingdom when it entices a Saudi woman to join the mission to space. On the one hand, women only won the right to drive a few years ago in the Gulf Kingdom, sending a woman into space proving a notable move that goes against the country’s conservative image.

It was in 2018 that the Gulf Kingdom established the Saudi Space Commission. Last year, they launched a mission to send astronauts to space.

After reaching orbit, R Barnawi made a statement: “Hello from outer space! It feels amazing to see Earth from this space shuttle.”

To this, Al-Qarni added that as he looks out into space, he wonders if this is just the beginning of a wonderful journey ahead for everyone.

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