Sultan AlNeyadi was seen taking pictures of the incoming crew and giving them a tour of the orbital outpost
The arrival of two Saudi astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday night has been marked by days of tears, laughter and conversations in Arabic from outer space.
Rayyanah, the first Arab female astronaut, burst into tears as she received the coveted astronaut badge. Ali and Rhiana became the 599th and 600th astronauts, respectively, to step foot on the International Space Station.
Ax-2 crew members were pinned with a “universal astronaut badge” representing all space travelers.
During the welcoming ceremony, the two Saudis addressed the world in Arabic. “Greetings from outer space,” Rayyanah said. “I represent everyone in my country and region. I am happy to represent the dreams and hopes of everyone back home.”
Ali urged his fellow Saudis to dream big because the country’s leadership will help them realize them. “I’m really excited to work with you all. I’m eager to learn from your expertise,” he told his crew.
Rayyanah and Ali are part of Axiom Mission 2, which also includes Commander Peggy Whitson and Pilot John Shoffner. Their SpaceX Dragon spacecraft docked at the International Space Station at 5.12pm UAE time. This is the second mission to arrive at the orbiting laboratory with a completely private crew.
It took the four astronauts 16 hours to reach their destination, where they will spend eight days.
With their arrival, the ISS has truly become the ISS, with 11 astronauts and cosmonauts, including three Arabs on board for the first time.
AlNeyadi was seen taking pictures of the incoming crew and giving them a tour of the orbital outpost. Then he treats them with some water and dates.
The astronauts are expected to leave the space station on May 30, “waiting for weather, returning to Earth and landing at their landing site off the coast of Florida,” according to NASA.
During the in-orbit laboratory, the crew will carry out more than 20 scientific and technological experiments in the fields of human physiology, physical science, and STEAM. These will help expand knowledge to benefit life on Earth in areas such as healthcare, materials and technology development, and drive industrial progress.
3 Arabs in space
The UAE rejoices as three Arabs cruise 400 kilometers above Earth, united on a space mission.
Sara Al Amiri, UAE Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, said the “extraordinary effort” demonstrates Saudi Arabia’s commitment to scientific advancement and “underscores the vital role of space exploration to our region and the world.”
“May their mission be filled with triumph, breakthrough discoveries and a sense of togetherness,” she tweeted.
Salem Humaid AlMarri, Director General of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC), congratulated the Saudi Space Council and the entire country’s astronauts for their successful docking with the International Space Station.
“We send our best wishes to astronaut Ali Alqarni and astronaut Rayyanah Barnawi as they embark on this mission to the International Space Station. This achievement is a significant milestone for Saudi Arabia and marks a historic A pivotal moment as it united three Arab astronauts in space for the first time, including astronaut Sultan Al-Neiyadi. The event provided a powerful source of inspiration for the global space community, highlighting the importance of diversity, innovation and international cooperation profound impact,” he said.