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Saudi Arabia’s mission to the International Space Station next year aboard a SpaceX capsule will include a woman who will become the world’s first female Arab astronaut, according to Axiom Space, the US company that organizes the mission for the kingdom.
Neither Axiom nor the Saudi government have provided the name of the astronaut, who will be accompanied by another Saudi and two Americans as part of Axiom’s second private mission to the space station, scheduled for early 2023.
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A US official familiar with the mission said Ax-2 passengers have yet to receive approval from a NASA-chaired jury of the space station’s international partners. The identities of astronauts are usually not confirmed publicly until the panel gives approval.
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Reuters first reported Axiom’s deal with Saudi Arabia on Wednesday and that the mission is scheduled for early 2023 under a deal signed earlier this year.