Two Saudi astronauts will be travelling to the International Space Station (ISS) for the first time on a private mission to carry out a number of experiments, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
Rayyanah Barnawi, the first female Arab astronaut and breast cancer researcher, and fighter pilot Ali al-Qarni are scheduled to blast off in a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral in the US state of Florida on Sunday.
According to SPA, the team will carry out 14 experiments focused on “human research, cell sciences, and cloud seeding experiments in the microgravity environment”.
Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the mission is also to expand space science education in the kingdom. Saudi male and female students will participate in scientific experiments conducted on the ISS, according to SPA.