Saudi Astronauts Brace for ISS Visit, Finished Training

In this photo provided by NASA, backdropped against clouds over Earth, the International Space Station is seen from Space Shuttle Discovery as the two orbital spacecraft accomplish their relative separation on March 7, 2011InternationalIndiaAfricaMOSCOW (Sputnik) – Saudi Arabian astronauts have completed their nine months-long training for the flight to the International Space Station (ISS) and entered the quarantine period in preparation for the launch in May, the official Saudi media reported on Wednesday, citing the Saudi Space Commission. According to the report, Saudi astronauts Rayyannah Barnawi and Ali Alqarni will carry out 14 scientific research experiments during the mission to the ISS, including three educational awareness experiments. Their training was held at the National Space Training and Research Centre in the United States on the equipment and procedures necessary to complete the mission to ISS with Axiom Space and SpaceX, as well as at NASA Johnson Centre as part of the Human Exploration Research Analog program, the report said. Russian Space Corporation Energia Says Will Finish New Orbital Station by 203211 April, 20:52 GMTThe mission marks Saudi Arabia’s return to manned spaceflight nearly four decades after the country sent the first Arab astronaut, Sultan bin Salman Al Saud, into space in 1985. Barnawi will also become the first Arab woman to go into space. NASA has earlier announced the next private sector Axiom Space flight to the ISS, the Axiom Mission-2 (Ax-2), which will include Alqarni and Barnawi as the mission specialists, adding that Barnawi will command the mission. The launch of the mission is scheduled for May 22, and the astronauts are expected to spend ten days aboard the space station.


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