SpaceX, the pioneering private aerospace company founded by Elon Musk, has made history once again by sending Saudi astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). This mission is particularly significant as it includes the first Arab woman to travel to space. The collaboration between SpaceX and the Saudi space agency marks a significant turning point in space exploration and exemplifies how the sector is becoming more inclusive and diverse.
Rayyanah Barnawi, a Saudi breast cancer researcher, was accompanied on Sunday’s flight by fighter pilot Ali al-Qarni. The two are the first Saudi astronauts in decades to travel into space. They flew a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral, Florida at 5:37 p.m. local time. Axiom Space of Houston organized the trip, and the crew is led by Peggy Whitson, a former NASA astronaut who now works for the corporation. John Shoffner who is a businessman from Tennessee will be a pilot of the flight.
Furthermore, the four should arrive at the space station on Monday morning in their spaceship. They will stay there for just over a week before returning to Earth with a splashdown off the Florida shore of the southern US state. Barnawi’s journey to space will be sponsored by the Saudi government. NASA didn’t disclose the price of the most recent tickets but had previously given per-seat estimates of $55 million (£44 million). According to NASA’s most recent pricing list, each person will pay $2,000 (£1,600) each day for meals and up to $1,500 (£1,200) for sleeping bags and other supplies.
Additionally, an Arab female astronaut is excited about the study she will conduct on board. She expressed interest in sharing her experience with youngsters while on the ISS. “It’s very exciting to see their faces when they see astronauts from their own region for the first time,” she remarked. Both the Arab astronauts will have access to most of the station while they conduct experiments, picture Earth, and communicate with students back home, showing them how kites fly in space when tied to a fan.