Saudi Astronauts on Long-Stay Mission, Landed Among Stars

Riyadh: To the International Space Station, two Saudi astronauts, Ali Alqarni and Rayyanah Barnawi, have embarked on the Axiom Mission 2. They blasted off in a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The astronauts also spent 12 days in simulated space conditions, expeditionary skills, practicing floating and learning about weightlessness, the possible side effects of spaceflight, and communication skills while in orbit.

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The mission will pave the way for a sustainable program by sending future Saudi astronauts on long-stay missions to expand the Kingdom’s scientific contributions and conduct more research. The astronauts were scheduled to perform 14 experiments during an eight-day stay, 3 for educational awareness and 11 on microgravity.

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Vision 2030 plans to increase the Saudis’ knowledge and technical skills, diversify the economy, and expand the industry. The research opportunities will substitute international collaboration, further enhancing the Kingdom’s role internationally as the SSC. The program offers Saudi students the chance to graduate degrees and study undergraduate in space-related fields at the most remarkable international universities.

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