Saudi Arabia to send its first female astronaut into space
Raynah Barnawi: Saudi Arabia to send its first female astronaut into space who will travel to space later this year.
Raynah Barnawi: Saudi Arabia to send its first female astronaut into space
Saudi Arabia has named the country's first female astronaut who will travel to space later this year.
On a 10-day mission to the International Space Station (ISS), 33-year-old Raynah Barnawi will become the kingdom's first woman to fly into space, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported.
Miss Barnawi will be accompanied by Saudi Arabian fighter jet pilot Ali Al-Qarni. They will be the second and third Saudi Arabia to fly into space.
Ms Barnavi is a biomedical researcher and has completed a Bachelor of Biomedical Science from the University of Otago, New Zealand. He completed his Masters in Biomedical Sciences at Al-Faisal University, Riyadh.
According to the Saudi Space Commission, Ms Barnawi has more than nine years of experience in cancer stem cell research. As part of the upcoming Saudi Arabian space mission, he will be responsible for conducting mission experiments while on board the ISS.
The Saudi Space Commission said the upcoming mission, to be carried out in the latter half of 2023, is a collaboration between the Saudi human spaceflight program and US-based private space agency Axiom.
The Saudi Press Agency said of the upcoming mission, "The move aims to strengthen Saudi capabilities in human spaceflight in order to serve humanity and benefit from the promising opportunities offered by the space industry."
Saudi Arabia is training two more astronauts, Maryam Fardous and Ali al-Ghamdi, as part of its human spaceflight program.
Saudi Arabia will be the second Arab country to send an astronaut on a mission after the United Arab Emirates, which announced in June last year that it was sending Sultan Al Neyadi on the first long-duration space mission in collaboration with NASA and SpaceX.
Emirati Nora Al Matrushi became the first Arab woman to join the world of astronauts after the UAE presented her to NASA as part of its second batch of astronauts in 2021