SpaceX launches veterans and Saudi astronauts to the International Space Station

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Photo bySpaceXonUnsplash

SpaceX sent their Falcon 9 rocket into space on May 21st, 2023 for the Axiom-2 mission from Kennedy Space Center on Sunday night. This mission was important due to the cargo it was carrying: an all-private crew of astronauts. These astronauts were sent on a multi-million-dollar journey to the International Space Station, or ISS for short, that is called Axiom-2 because it was partially planned with the Houston-based company Axiom Space. This company has a contract with NASA to help with this space mission for its duration of ten days.

The crew for this mission consists of four people that will onboard the spacecraft headed to the ISS. One of the crew members is the former NASA astronaut known as Peggy Whitson. For anyone interested in learning a bit about this amazing woman, Peggy Whitson was an astronaut and a biochemistry researcher. She currently holds the record for the oldest woman spacewalker and the most spacewalks that have been done by any woman in history. Peggy is currently joined by John Shoffner (a man who is the mission pilot for this particular voyage) and two Saudi-Arabian astronauts: mission specialists Ali Alqarni and Rayyanah Barnawi. Branawi is the first female Saudi astronaut and a breast cancer researcher, making this another historic moment for women.

"We'll be able to work efficiently with NASA and be able to work towards a seamless transition from the International Space Station to the Axiom Space station when the ISS is retired," stated Michael Suffredini, the Axiom Space president and CEO.

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