Saudi Arabia struck a deal with Houston’s Axiom Space, a company that arranges and manages private missions to space on U.S. spacecraft for researchers and tourists, to send two astronauts to the International Space Station on board a SpaceX capsule early next year, where they will spend around a week.
The Saudis will be the first from their country to go into space aboard a private spacecraft. Joining retired NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson and race car driver and investor John Shoffner, and the mission, which is called Ax-2, will be the second spaceflight arranged by Axiom.
On its first mission in April, Axiom sent a four-man crew to the space station aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule that included a Canadian investor and an Israeli businessman.
On Monday, Axiom announced another deal with Turkey to launch the country’s first two astronauts into space in late 2023 on what will likely be mission Ax-3.
It is unclear how much the two seats cost, but Reuters reports that each Crew Dragon seat on the Ax-1 mission sold for $55 million.
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