Rayyanah Barnawi hope to conduct stem cell and breast cancer research during her projected 10 days in orbit aboard ISS.
Stunning aerial images of Mecca were shared by Saudi Arabia’s first female astronaut, who recently embarked on her journey to space.
The pictures were posted by Rayyanah Barnawi and one of the two Saudi astronauts as they were onboard Axiom Space’s second private mission, which took off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the United States last week.
The Saudi astronaut shared a video of them passing over Mecca from space via her official social media account.
“This is the Grand Mosque,” she described as she zoomed into a glistening dot on Earth saying: “look at how bright Mecca is”.
The 34-year-old biomedical scientist hopes to conduct stem cell and breast cancer research during her projected 10 days in orbit on the ISS which took off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.
Ali Alqarni, the second male astronaut from the kingdom to travel to space, Peggy Whitson, and John Shoffner, two Americans, are also aboard Axiom Mission 2 with Barnawi.
The crew carried out more than 20 scientific and technological investigations while aboard the orbiting laboratory. One such experiment includes examining the effects of space travel on human health and the development of rain-seeding technologies, reports said.
The tests conducted by Barnawi will be based in part on the work she has accomplished during her nine years working as a research lab technician at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center’s Stem Cell and Tissue Re-engineering Program in Riyadh.