June 1, 2023

Wire Service Canada

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Space, the four “special” astronauts on the AX-2 mission on the International Space Station

Houston, May 22. The International Space Station has a crew of 11.

In fact, the four astronauts of the Axiom 2 mission, the second mission in history composed of private astronauts organized by the private American company Axiom Space, have arrived at the orbital base. Accompanied by veteran Peggy Whitson, former NASA astronaut and two-time ISS commander and now AX-2 mission chief, American racecar driver John Shoffner, ISS pilot, has reached orbit for a 10-day mission in the ISS Space X Crew Dragon shuttle. Freedom” and Saudi astronauts Ali Al-Qarni and Rayana Bernawi.

To the three new astronauts, Commander Whitson delivered the wings directly into orbit; To Rayana Barnawi – the first Saudi woman and the first Arab woman to orbit the Earth – the honor of being the 600th female astronaut to go to space. Sultan Al Neyadi is also on the International Space Station along with Al Qarni and Barnawi, and this is the first time ever that there are three Arab astronauts in orbit at the same time. The first Saudi (and Arab) astronaut to fly in space was Sultan bin Salman Al Saud, aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1985.

The crew of the Ax-2 mission will conduct about two dozen science experiments on the International Space Station, including research on stem cells, DNA-based nanomaterials, and anti-cancer actions. In addition, they will test a wearable skin suit that simulates Earth’s gravity to counteract the negative effects of microgravity.

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