As part of a broader plan to promote science and technology, Saudi Arabia’s space commission is partnering with Houston-based company Axiom Space, which includes a program to send the first female Saudi astronaut out of the earth’s atmosphere by 2023.
The news of this gender-breaking program comes after 2018’s landmark decision to lift the ban on women driving in the Kingdom, forming part of the ambitious Vision 2030 plan.
“The Saudi Astronaut Program, an integral part of the Kingdom’s ambitious Vision 2030, will send Saudi astronauts into space to help better serve humanity. One of the astronauts will be a Saudi woman, whose mission to space will represent a historical first for the Kingdom,” says the Saudi Space Commission.
The program follows the same direction taken by the UAE in recent years, from the launch of the Mars Hope Probe in 2021 and the Mars Science City plan, as well as the ambitious goal of sending a lunar rover to the moon in November this year.
“Space belongs to all of humanity, which is one of the reasons Axiom Space is pleased to welcome our new partnership with the Saudi Space Commission to train and fly Saudi astronauts, including the first female Saudi astronaut,” says Michael Suffredini, President and CEO of Axiom Space.
Saudi Arabia will reveal the full extent of its interplanetary program in the coming months in the National Space Strategy. The Kingdom is no stranger to space exploration, as Saudi prince Sultan Ibn Salman Al Saud was the first Muslim and Arab to leave the earth’s atmosphere way back in 1985 with NASA’s Discovery mission.
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