The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, has announced Rayyanah Barnawi as Saudi Arabia’s first woman astronaut to take off to the International Space Station, ISS, on 21st May, 2023.

The 33 year-old Rayyanah, is a breast cancer researcher and along with male astronaut Ali AlQarni, will be part of the Axiom 2 Space mission.

The 10-day mission was earlier planned to blast off from Kennedy Space Centre in Florida on 8th May, before the launch was rescheduled to the later date.

The international astronaut’s trip to space is seen as Saudi Arabia’s latest bid to revamp its ultra-conservative image.

Story: Ezekiel Kefas