UAE's Sultan Al Neyadi has expressed excitement ahead of another historic milestone onboard the International Space Station, when two astronauts from Saudi Arabia will join him.
It'll be the "first time ever (that) three Arab astronauts will be in space together," he tweeted, ahead of the Saudi space mission, along with a picture of the Kingdom from space.
"Following in Prince Sultan bin Salman Al Saud's pioneering footsteps, 2 Saudi astronauts will launch on their 1st mission to the ISS," Al Neyadi wrote. "As we wish them a great launch, here's a recent view of Saudi Arabia I took."
Rayyanah Barnawi and Ali Al Qarni are set to become the first Saudi citizens to embark on a space mission after Prince Sultan bin Salman flew on the space shuttle Discovery as part of a seven-member international crew in 1985.
Following in Prince Sultan bin Salman Al Saud's pioneering footsteps, 2 Saudi astronauts will launch on their 1st mission to the ISS and for 1st time ever, 3 Arab astronauts will be in space together. As we wish them a great launch, here's a recent view of Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦 I took. pic.twitter.com/T33R59iA10— Sultan AlNeyadi (@Astro_Alneyadi) May 21, 2023
The private mission, called Axiom 2, will also see Americans Peggy Whitson, the commander of the trip, and pilot John Shoffner.
It is set to blast off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on May 22 at 1:27 am GST from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre also wished the Saudi crew on Twitter.
We extend our sincerest wishes to the Saudi Space Commission and astronauts Rayyanah Barnawi and Ali Alqarni, who will launch to the International Space Station as part of the Ax-2 crew. pic.twitter.com/zv4mfIkxB4— MBR Space Centre (@MBRSpaceCentre) May 21, 2023