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The scientific mission of Saudi Arabia is launched towards the International Space Station, carrying the first Saudi female astronaut and a Saudi astronaut


Washington (UNA) - The scientific mission of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the International Space Station (ISS) launched yesterday, Sunday, at 00:37 (Mecca Al-Mukarramah time), which includes four astronauts on board, including Saudi astronauts Rayana Bernawi and Ali Al-Qarni, to conduct Scientific research experiments serving humanity.

The Saudi Space Authority stated that the Saudi astronauts, Rayana Bernawi and Ali Al-Qarni, are fully prepared to carry out their mission at the International Space Station, where they will conduct 14 pioneering scientific research experiments in microgravity, including three educational and awareness experiments, and aim to reach important scientific results that contribute to promoting the development of space. The Saudi space program achieves the Kingdom's ambitions and the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 in the field of space.

The authority pointed out that it is closely following the stages of the space flight, through an operations center that includes a specialized team in the astronaut program, which supports the Saudi astronauts in their mission from launch until reaching the International Space Station, and throughout the duration of the flight.

The authority stated that the launch to the International Space Station was preceded by a comprehensive review by NASA and other agencies to ensure the technical and technological details of the launch process, through which the full readiness of the astronauts and adaptation to the space environment was revealed.

The authority referred to the steps that preceded the launch of the space flight and the transfer of the astronauts Rayana Barnawi and Ali Al-Qarni and the mission crew to the launch base at “Cape Canaveral” in the Kennedy Space Complex, to successfully enter the quarantine period, which extended for about two weeks. In order to avoid infection with any diseases prior to launch, and to prevent any bacteria from reaching the “Dragon 2” spacecraft, and to the International Space Station, during this period, the mission’s astronauts underwent daily training, physical equipment, and continuous medical tests.

The SpaceX Dragon 2 spacecraft took off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center on a Falcon 9 rocket and from the launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

After the successful launch, the “Dragon 2” spacecraft is expected to separate, to take its course towards docking with the International Space Station, where the mission control crew in “Hawthorne”, California, directs it until the docking process is completed within 16 hours after launch, while the vehicle was designed to dock independently and automatically. To the international station, with the possibility of the crew doing the job if required.

When the “Dragon 2” spacecraft docks with the International Space Station, it is expected that the astronaut Rayana Bernawi will become the first Saudi woman to fly into space, which will make the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia the first Arab country from which a woman participates in a scientific mission in space, while Ali Al-Qarni will be the first Saudi astronaut. up to the International Space Station.

Since the mission crew arrived at the launch pad, the final preparations took place before the launch, which included putting on the mission's space suit, conducting an accurate simulation of the launch process, and then heading towards the "Falcon 9" missile, where each of them took their assigned place inside the "Dragon 2" spacecraft. To start the launch process, and connect the astronauts to life support devices until they reach the microgravity zone.

This launch comes within the framework of the Kingdom's program for astronauts, which aims to qualify experienced Saudi cadres to embark on space flights, and to participate in conducting scientific experiments, international research and future space-related missions. And the development of human capital, by attracting talents and developing the necessary skills, which enhances the Kingdom's role in developing the space sector, and becoming an important part of the global community in space science research and investing that research in the service of humanity.


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