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Astronauts Barnawi and Al Qarni interact with students and share living in space experiences


May 25, 2023
Astronauts Barnawi and Al Qarni interact with students and share living in space experiences


Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Saudi astronauts Rayyanah Barnawi and Ali Al Qarni interacted with a group of students and shared their incredible experiences of living in space.

The astronauts contacted the students over a ground station in Riyadh, using amateur radio frequencies from the International Space Station (ISS) where they are staying after arrival on Monday. Barnawi and Al Qarni answered various questions of curious students with regard to their ways of living in space and the daily routine of life aboard the ISS. They also shared with them the unique and inexplicable experiences and feelings about their space voyage.

The radio contact was made possible through coordination with the Saudi Space Commission, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Communications, Space and Technology Commission, and in cooperation with the Saudi Amateur Radio Society. The interaction was aimed to engage students in knowledge of science and inspire their curiosity about space and future technologies.

The Saudi Amateur Radio Society has used call signal for the Kingdom, HZ0ISS, through radio communication technology that uses very high frequencies (VHF) for amateur radio, which operates through a transmission and reception connection in audio mode between a ground station and the ISS when it passes over the ground station. The radio contact was made possible in coordination with the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS).

It is noteworthy that Barnawi and Al Qarni, along with two other astronauts, arrived at ISS last Monday where they joined seven other astronauts who are already on board. The space voyage is part of a scientific mission during which a total of 14 research experiments in a microgravity environment will be conducted, Their experiments would also focus on human research, cell sciences, and cloud seeding experiments in the microgravity environment.

The duo made history as the first Saudi citizens to visit the orbiting outpost, while Barnawi has become the first Saudi and Arab woman in space and on the station. About 16 hours after its launch, a The SpaceX capsule, carrying four astronauts, docked with the ISS as part of a private mission chartered by Axiom Space. Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the mission is also to further expand space science education in the Kingdom.


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