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Saudi astronauts return to earth after space mission

They carried out several science experiments during their time on the ISS, including ones on life sciences and weather technology.
Photo credit: Axiom Space

Saudi astronauts Ali Al-Qarni and Rayyanah Barnawi, the first Arab woman ever sent into orbit, returned to Earth safely after a 12-hour journey, capping an eight-day research mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Astronaut Peggy Whitson and business pioneer and pilot John Shoffner were also part of the mission.

A SpaceX Dragon capsule carrying the two Saudi and two American astronauts made a parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of Florida at 7.04 am GST on May 31.

Mission specialists Al-Qarni and Barnawi participated in experiments with Saudi school children as part of their eight-day stay on ISS.

During their stay, the astronauts conducted 14 scientific and research experiments aboard the International Space Station.

The two Saudi astronauts also spent much of their time on the ISS doing outreach activities.

The touchdown concluded the second space station mission organised, equipped and trained entirely at private expense by Axiom Space.