9 Apr. (EUROPE PRESS) –
Saudi Arabia will send its first woman into space on May 8 on a private mission to the International Space Station (ISS), NASA and Axiom Space officials have reported.
Rayyanah Barnawi, a breast cancer researcher, will thus become the first Saudi woman to travel into space and will join the mission with her partner from the same country Ali Al-Qarni, a fighter pilot.
Along with them will be the former NASA astronaut on her fourth trip to space, Peggy Whitson, and the American businessman John Shoffner, who will be the pilot.
Liftoff of Axiom Mission 2 (Ax-2) aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled for 10:43 p.m. May 8 from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The four-member crew will travel to the ISS aboard a SpaceX Dragon capsule and spend 10 days aboard the orbiting space station.