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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Jeddah - Saeed al-Abyad

Saudi Arabia Contributes to Space Sector

The Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology described the astronauts as “the heroes of the nation." Asharq Al-Awsat

As Saudi Arabia announced on Thursday sending the first Saudi astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) in May, the Saudi space sector has imposed its presence on the international map, making Riyadh a regional leader in this field.

Astronauts Rayana Bernawi and Ali Al-Qarni will join the Axiom Space crew (AX-2) in order to take advantage of the promising opportunities offered by the space industries and to contribute to scientific research that serves humanity in a number of priority areas, such as health, sustainability and space technology.

Eng. Abdullah bin Amer Alswaha, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, said: “With the support and empowerment of the Crown Prince, Chairman of the Supreme Council for Space… the first Saudi female astronaut, Rayana Bernawi, and astronaut Ali Al-Qarni, [will conduct] a historical scientific mission to the International Space Station to empower people through research and innovations.”

The minister described the astronauts as “the heroes of the nation.”

Saudi Arabia’s contribution to the space sector includes steady and rapid steps in all directions. The Kingdom has succeeded in graduating qualified Saudi cadres in the global space industry.

Dr. Hussein Al-Zahrani, expert in the aviation and space sector, told Asharq Al-Awsat that sending the first Saudi woman to space underlines the Kingdom’s support for the sector, on the one hand, and its endeavor to empower women and highlight their important contribution to society.

Al-Zahrani added that Saudi Arabia has been a pioneer in the field of space, since the establishment of the Saudi Space Commission in 2018.

Today, the Kingdom is increasing its capabilities, as has built terrestrial space stations and used them in many fields.

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