'Light upon light,' first Saudi astronaut Rayyanah Barnawi says
After venturing into the space on a private mission organised by Axiom Space, Saudi Arabia's first female astronaut, Rayyanah Barnawi, has been sharing her experience on Twitter.
Barnawi is one of the two Saudi astronauts who set foot on the journey to the International Space Station (ISS) from their flight launchedfrom Cape Canaveral, Florida.
This second-ever private mission to the ISS marks a significant milestone in space exploration. Barnawi, a breast cancer researcher, became the first Saudi woman to venture into space, accompanied by fellow Saudi astronaut Ali Al-Qarni, a fighter pilot.
During her time in the space, Barnawai is seen actively sharing videos for all who are following her unprecedented journey. She is sometimes seen in a group video with fellow astronauts in space and other times showing off her grandma's earrings inside the space station.
In her latest video shared on Twitter, Barnawi has posted a video of a sparkling Masjid al-Haram in Makkah, right from the space.
In her video shot miles away from Earth, the Grand Mosque is seen shinning bright with the city's appearance resembling glittering veins captured from the space.
Taking to her Twitter, the astronaut wrote: "After I finished my experiments for today, we happened to pass over Makkah Al-Mukarramah."
"Light upon light," she added in her tweet.
In the video, the young astronaut can be heard saying that the whole kingdom is shining.
"Look, I'm trying to show you. Here you can see Makkah," she says, zooming the camera towards the twinkling spot from space.
"This is the Holy Mosque. Look how bright Makkah is. We already passed Madinah. Praise be to Allah," she says in the video.
The Axiom Mission 2 (Ax-2) crew embarked on their journey aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, lifting off from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral earlier this month.
Alongside Barnawi and Al-Qarni, the crew includes Peggy Whitson, a former NASA astronaut who is making her fourth flight to the ISS, and John Shoffner, a businessman from Tennessee serving as the pilot.
During a press conference, Barnawi expressed her immense pleasure and honour at being the first Saudi woman astronaut. She spoke of her excitement about the research she will conduct in space and her eagerness to share her experiences with children.