In Science and Space: Saudi Arabia’s official press agency (SPA) reported on Thursday that Saudi Arabia has kicked off a new astronaut program, with the maiden voyage carrying a Saudi astronaut. expected in 2023.
The kingdom is stepping up its space ambitions as neighboring UAE countries continue to develop their own programmes, which include a UAE-made probe currently orbiting Mars and an astronaut. Emirati, Nora al-Matrooshi, in training.
The SPA said more details on the Kingdom’s national space strategy are expected to be released in the coming months.
Saudi Arabia first sent an astronaut to orbit in 1985, when Prince Sultan bin Salman became the first Arab, first Muslim and first member of the royal family to travel.
This announcement follows the participation of the Saudi Space Commission during the International Astronautical Congress in Paris, one of the largest space conferences in the world.
Commission officials met with industry leaders from around the world to discuss bilateral cooperation.