A private mission with two Saudi Arabians arrived at the International Space Station

Scientist Rayana Barnawi, the first Saudi woman in space, and trained fighter pilot Ali Al-Kharni were the first two nationals to board the Space Station (ISS).

“It’s been a good trip,” said mission commander Peggy Whitson, who has been to the ISS three times in the past. “It was the smoothest mooring I’ve ever experienced,” he said during a live video broadcast of the proceedings.

The fourth panel member was American contractor John Shofner.

Two hours after docking, the capsule’s hatch will open to allow the four passengers to enter the ISS, where they will join the seven astronauts already on board (three Russians, three Americans and one Emirati).

The SpaceX rocket took off from Florida on Sunday, flying from Earth at a speed of 28,000 km/h on a journey to the ISS that lasted about 16 hours.

The mission, named Ax-2, will be the second completely private one to visit the space station for the first time in April 2022.

Members of Ax-2 will stay on the ISS for about ten days, where they will conduct twenty science experiments.

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