In a groundbreaking event, SpaceX successfully launched Rayyanah Barnawi, the first female astronaut from Saudi Arabia, on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
Barnawi is now the first Arab woman to travel outside of Earth’s atmosphere in her job as a stem cell researcher. Ali al-Qarni, a fighter pilot, will be traveling with her on this historic journey, making them the first Saudi Arabians to visit the ISS.
The crew, which included Barnawi, al-Qarni, a US businessman, and a veteran NASA astronaut who is currently employed by the organization that organized the space mission, launched on Sunday from the Kennedy Space Center.
The costly journey is the second private flight to the space station that Axiom Space has arranged. In 2022, it dispatched three businesspeople and a second former astronaut.
The exact price of the 10-day mission’s tickets has not been made public by Axiom Space. However, it had previously stated that each ticket would cost $55 million (€50.85 million).
According to a recent NASA price list, meals and sleeping bags cost $2,000 (€1,848) per person daily, while other equipment costs while other equipment can cost up to $1,500 (€1,387).
Barnawi and al-Qarni became the first Saudis to travel in a rocket since a prince took off on the shuttle Discovery in 1985 thanks to the Saudi Arabian government’s funding of their tickets.