| 16 April 2024, Tuesday |

Saudi astronauts Rayyanah Barnawi, Ali Alqarni back in the Kingdom after successful space mission

After a fruitful research mission at the International Space Station, Saudi astronauts Ali Alqarni, Rayyanah Barnawi, Mariam Fardous, and Ali Al-Ghamdi have returned to their home country on Saturday morning.

After an eight-day stay at the space station, where they conducted 14 microgravity research projects, Alqarni and Barnawi—the first Arab woman to orbit Earth—returned to Earth on May 31. Three of these projects involved kite experiments with 12,000 school students from 47 locations across the Kingdom via satellite.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule carrying them, as well as American astronauts Peggy Whitson John Shoffner, parachuted down onto the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Panama City, Florida, after a 12-hour return flight and re-entry through the Earth’s atmosphere.


The scientific mission will be of significant benefit to humanity and will ensure the Kingdom leading roles and an avant-garde position in space exploration, a statement from the Saudi Space Agency noted during the astronauts’ arrival at King Khaled International Airport.

The agency also said that the leading achievements and contributions of the Saudi space mission are a source of pride for the nation all with the support of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the statement added.

  • Arab News