The second private mission by Axiom Space to the International Space Station (ISS) was successfully launched by SpaceX on Monday. At the NASA Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, Launch Complex 39A saw the launch of the Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying four men.
The spacecraft sent two Saudi astronauts, including the nation’s first female astronaut, to the International Space Station.
Representatives of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Commander Peggy Whitson, Pilot John Shoffner, and Mission Specialists Ali Alqarni and Rayyanah Barnawi, have been launched to the International Space Station. The four will strive to further the construction of the commercial space station that private aerospace firm Axiom Space has planned.
The four astronauts will work and live in the orbiting laboratory to carry out a full slate of scientific, educational, and business endeavours.
“I am honoured and delighted to stand in for all the aspirations and hopes of the Saudi Arabian people. In a pre-launch conference that Axiom streamed on YouTube, Barnawi expressed the aspirations of all the women in the area.
During their time in the zero-gravity lab, the four astronauts will conduct significant studies to learn how microgravity impacts stem cells and thick tissue structures. Their efforts are directed at identifying illnesses and creating treatments for individuals on Earth. The four-person team will conduct about 20 experiments while aboard the ISS.
The four astronauts will work with three Americans, three Russians, and Emirati astronaut Sultan al-Neyadi, who last month became the first person from the Arab world to perform a spacewalk.
In April 2022, Axiom Space launched Ax-1, a mission that sent three businesspeople and retired astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria to the International Space Station for a 17-day stay.