Rayyanah Barnawi, a scientist who became the first Saudi woman to go into space, and Ali Al-Qarni, a trained fighter pilot, are the first two people from their country to fly to the orbital outpost.

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They took off on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral in the southern United States at 5:37 pm local time (21:37 GMT). The trip to the ISS, which orbits around 250 miles (400 kilometers) above the Earth, lasted about 16 hours.

The team also includes Peggy Whitson, a former NASA astronaut who will be making her fourth flight to the ISS, and John Shoffner, a businessman from Tennessee who is serving as a pilot.

About two hours after docking, the quartet entered the ISS, where they joined the seven astronauts — three Russians, three Americans, and an Emirati — already on board.

This mission, named Ax-2, is the second fully private mission to visit the space station, following a first in April 2022. The members of Ax-2 will stay for about 10 days and carry out some 20 experiments. The Axiom Mission 1 launched last April, with the seats for three private astronauts accompanying an Axiom-employed astronaut reported costing $55 million each. The cost of seats for Ax-2 has not been disclosed.

According to the Internet