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Saudi Arabia to send first woman into space

Riyadh: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Thursday launched the Kingdom’s program for astronauts, and said that it will send the first male and female Saudi astronauts into space in 2023.

The program aims to qualify experienced national cadres to carry out long and short-term space flights, to participate in practical experiments, international research and future space missions, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Through the program, the Kingdom is also seeking to take advantage of the promising opportunities that this sector provides in the future in many aspects of life.

The Kingdom’s program for astronauts, which comes as an integrated package under the umbrella of Vision 2030 , includes sending Saudi astronauts into space on missions to serve humanity.

The first flights in the program will be launched in 2023, and it will include the first Saudi female pilot and astronaut crew, so that the Kingdom will record an important historical event by sending the first Saudi woman into space.

The Kingdom intends to launch the National Space Strategy in the coming months, which will provide a detailed presentation of all Saudi space programs and their goals.

Saudi Arabia will be the second Arab country to send astronauts on missions after the UAE, which announced in June that UAE sending Sultan Al Neyadi on the first long-term space mission in cooperation with NASA and SpaceX.

The joint Emirati-US mission is scheduled to launch in the spring of 2023, to be the first Arab astronaut to embark on a long-term mission to the International Space Station.

Emirati Nora Al Matrooshi became the first Arab woman to join the world of astronauts, after the UAE presented her as part of the second batch of its astronauts to NASA in 2021.

Over the past years, the Gulf states have begun to pay more attention to the future of space and satellite technology, and have taken many steps to secure a place for themselves in this vital sector.