SpaceX sends Saudi Arabia's first astronauts, including a woman to international space station | Watch
Rayyanah Barnawi, a breast cancer researcher, is the first Saudi woman to voyage into space. She was joined by fellow Saudi Ali Al-Qarni, a fighter pilot
Elon Musk's spacecraft manufacturing company has sent Saudi Arabia's first astronauts to the International Space Station on Sunday.
The mission is not Saudi Arabia's first foray into space.
In 1985, Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, an air force pilot, took part in a US-organized space voyage.
But the space mission involving a Saudi woman is the latest move by the oil-rich Gulf kingdom.
Among the team of four astronauts, the two other included Peggy Whitson, a former NASA astronaut, and John Shoffner, a businessman from Tennessee who is serving as a pilot. Among the four Whitson is the most experienced astronaut, it is her 4th flight to the ISS.
The private mission was organised by Axiom Space. The astronauts rocketed toward the ISS in a chartered multimillion-dollar flight in the US.
The Axiom Mission 2 (Ax-2) crew took off aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral in the southern US state of Florida.
The crew is due to spend around 10 days on board the ISS.
The four-member team is set to carry out some 20 experiments while on the ISS.
One of them involves studying the behavior of stem cells in zero gravity.
They will join seven others already aboard the ISS: three Russians, three Americans, and Emirati astronaut Sultan al-Neyadi, who was the first Arab national to go on a spacewalk last month.
The mission to the ISS is the second in partnership with ISS keyholder NASA by Axiom Space, a private space company, which offers rare voyages for sums that run into the millions of dollars.
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