‘GiGi’ the teddy bear joins Axiom Space crew in historic mission

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GiGi the teddy bear has joined the historic Axiom Mission 2 journey alongside the Axiom Space crew members, including the first-ever female Arab astronaut.

Axiom Space partnered with Build-A-Bear Workshop to fly the stuffed animal to inspire children worldwide to learn about space and consider a career in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics (STEAM).

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“Axiom Space is excited to partner with the iconic brand Build-A-Bear to encourage children of all ages to learn about space exploration and our efforts to expand access to microgravity for individuals, countries and institutions to conduct meaningful scientific research,” said Sandra Nelson, Vice President of Marketing, Axiom Space.

GiGi joins the Axiom Space crew. (Supplied)
GiGi joins the Axiom Space crew. (Supplied)

“GiGi was designed and built for the next generation of space explorers who will enable us to explore beyond, build a sustainable future in low-Earth orbit, and realize the extensive science research that will be achievable with their involvement and active participation in STEAM.”

GiGi joined the Ax-2 crew as they launched to space from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and a Dragon spacecraft from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sunday.

The crew includes Rayyanah Barnawi – the first Arab and Saudi woman to go to space – and Ali al-Qarni, also from the Kingdom.

On Monday, the two Saudi astronauts sent their first message from outer space, thanking Saudi Arabia’s leadership for their “never-ending empowerment, support and trust that every Saudi should be proud of.”

The Ax-2 mission is set to arrive at the International Space Station on Monday at 9:24 a.m. ET, with the hatch scheduled to open at 11:13 a.m. ET. A welcome ceremony for the arriving crew will be held at 11:45 a.m. ET.

The crew will join Emirati astronaut Sultan al-Neyadi curretnly at the ISS for a six-month mission.

Read more:

Saudi astronauts Rayyanah Barnawi and Ali al-Qarni send first greetings from space

First Saudi space mission to launch on May 21 with Kingdom’s first astronauts

‘Lift off’: Saudi astronauts – including Arab world’s first female – blast into space

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