Saudi Arabia launches its astronaut program, details and the date of the first flights

Saudi Arabia launches its astronaut program, details and the date of the first flights As part of its quest to break into the world of space and its sciences and prepare national cadres in this field, Saudi Arabia announced its program for astronauts in order to achieve the Kingdom's aspirations in the field of exploration and scientific contributions.  The "Kingdom Program for Astronauts", launched by the Saudi Space Authority, in conjunction with the celebration of the 92nd Saudi National Day for the Kingdom's founding, aims to qualify experienced Saudi cadres to engage in long- and short-term space flights, participate in scientific experiments, international research and future space-related missions.  It also aims to take advantage of the promising opportunities offered by the space sector and its industries globally, and to contribute to research that serves humanity in many areas, such as health, sustainability and space technology.  The first flights are scheduled to be launched in 2023, and will include the first female astronaut crew, becoming the first Saudi woman to be sent into space with the participation of a female citizen.  Saudi Arabia’s announcement of this program comes in the wake of press reports that the Kingdom intends to send two astronauts to the International Space Station, aboard a capsule from the “SpaceX” company owned by American businessman Elon Musk, to become the latest Gulf country to strengthen relations with private American space companies.  Human capital Under an agreement with the company, the two Saudi astronauts will launch aboard the "Crow Dragon" capsule from SpaceX on a trip to the International Space Station for about a week in early next year 2023, thus becoming the first Saudis to go to space on a private spacecraft.  The two Saudi astronauts are scheduled to join two previously announced Americans, retired NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, and race car driver investor John Schofner, according to Reuters.  The Kingdom is preparing to launch the National Space Strategy in the coming months, which will provide a detailed presentation of all Saudi space programs and their goals that contribute to serving humanity.  The Saudi Astronaut Program comes as an integrated package within the 2030 strategic vision for the development of the Kingdom, and within the framework of its plan to develop human capital in space sciences and its applications.  In an attempt to achieve these goals, the Saudi Space Authority launched in August of last year the first phase of the "Space Scholarship" program for elite students in the top 30 international universities, in the disciplines of space sciences and technology for the bachelor's and master's levels, including aerospace engineering, and space sciences. and space policies.  Investing in space research The authority confirms that the goal of the "Space Scholarship" program is to achieve the goals of the Saudi Vision 2030, by providing quality knowledge for distinguished people in priority areas such as the space sector, and enhancing the Kingdom's capabilities in the fields of research, development and innovation in the space sector by sending students to distinguished universities, in addition to enhancing Partnership and scientific exchange with the most prestigious universities, research and development centers, and international research institutions specialized in space science.  Saudi efforts did not stop at the space missions program only. Last May, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and the American company "Lockheed Martin" in Washington signed a cooperation agreement to develop space and aviation technologies and invest in its advanced research.  The agreement aims to promote and develop the space economy, digital economy and innovation, and develop human capabilities for the Kingdom. The areas of cooperation include projects that will enhance research and development capabilities in the space sector in the Kingdom, and identify appropriate projects for joint implementation.  Saudi Arabia has also taken a major step towards the space sector, after it announced last July that it had signed the “Artemis” agreement with the US space agency “NASA”, to join the international coalition in the field of civil exploration and the use of the moon, Mars, comets and asteroids for peaceful purposes, which also includes joining the The Global Alliance for the Return of Man to the Moon.  International presence The objective of the agreement, which includes 13 clauses, is to enhance the Saudi presence internationally and actively contribute to joint international projects, as well as to consolidate the Kingdom's position in the field of "new space" through its contribution to emerging space activities through scientific and exploratory missions, strengthening the space economy, and developing research capabilities. and human capital.  In addition, Saudi Arabia's accession to the "Artemis" agreement is an affirmation of its commitment to the peaceful and sustainable exploration and use of space, as part of its economic diversification plan, which aims to attract foreign investments and provide thousands of jobs for Saudi youth.  The implementation of the “Artemis” agreement includes 3 phases, namely: sending unmanned space missions to conduct scientific tests and experiments, followed by the phase of sending space missions manned by astronauts and experts to explore and return without landing on the moon’s surface, up to the third stage in which landing on the moon’s surface and completing Research and exploration, which paves the way for humanity's three stages of exploration of space and other celestial bodies.  Saudi Arabia's relationship and interest in space is not a recent one, but rather extends for decades, as Saudi Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz was the first Arab and Muslim astronaut to roam space on his 1985 flight with the American space shuttle "Discovery".  In this regard, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology carried out scientific experiments in space in cooperation with the US space agency “NASA” and Stanford University on the “Saudi Sat 4” moon, and participated in the Chang’e 4 moon exploration mission in cooperation with the Chinese Space Agency. 2018, on a rare mission to explore the invisible side of the moon.  With the aim of contributing to the preparation of a generation of innovators, Saudi teams, under the auspices and supervision of the Saudi Space Authority, participated in the "NASA International Challenge for Space Applications", providing innovative solutions to the challenges facing Earth and space, which was held on the second and third of October last year.  The Kingdom was able to achieve several advanced positions, including: the first in the world in the list of the best nominated projects in the world, the first in the Middle East and North Africa in the honor list of the top 20 projects participating in the NASA International Challenge, and the highest in the world with a participation rate of 16% of the total participation International Candidate.  The CEO of the Saudi Space Authority, Dr. Muhammad bin Saud Al-Tamimi, confirms that the Kingdom pays great attention to the field of space and its economy, as an extension of what it started with the first space flight in 1985 , leading to the aspiration to be one of the leading countries in the field of space by 2030, stressing that space exploration is not It is not only a scientific achievement, but it is also an important economic resource, and a factor in the prosperity of mankind.

As part of its quest to break into the world of space and its sciences and prepare national cadres in this field, Saudi Arabia announced its program for astronauts in order to achieve the Kingdom's aspirations in the field of exploration and scientific contributions.

The "Kingdom Program for Astronauts", launched by the Saudi Space Authority, in conjunction with the celebration of the 92nd Saudi National Day for the Kingdom's founding, aims to qualify experienced Saudi cadres to engage in long- and short-term space flights, participate in scientific experiments, international research and future space-related missions.

It also aims to take advantage of the promising opportunities offered by the space sector and its industries globally, and to contribute to research that serves humanity in many areas, such as health, sustainability and space technology.

The first flights are scheduled to be launched in 2023, and will include the first female astronaut crew, becoming the first Saudi woman to be sent into space with the participation of a female citizen.

Saudi Arabia’s announcement of this program comes in the wake of press reports that the Kingdom intends to send two astronauts to the International Space Station, aboard a capsule from the “SpaceX” company owned by American businessman Elon Musk, to become the latest Gulf country to strengthen relations with private American space companies.

Human capital
Under an agreement with the company, the two Saudi astronauts will launch aboard the "Crow Dragon" capsule from SpaceX on a trip to the International Space Station for about a week in early next year 2023, thus becoming the first Saudis to go to space on a private spacecraft.

The two Saudi astronauts are scheduled to join two previously announced Americans, retired NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, and race car driver investor John Schofner, according to Reuters.

The Kingdom is preparing to launch the National Space Strategy in the coming months, which will provide a detailed presentation of all Saudi space programs and their goals that contribute to serving humanity.

The Saudi Astronaut Program comes as an integrated package within the 2030 strategic vision for the development of the Kingdom, and within the framework of its plan to develop human capital in space sciences and its applications.

In an attempt to achieve these goals, the Saudi Space Authority launched in August of last year the first phase of the "Space Scholarship" program for elite students in the top 30 international universities, in the disciplines of space sciences and technology for the bachelor's and master's levels, including aerospace engineering, and space sciences. and space policies.

Investing in space research
The authority confirms that the goal of the "Space Scholarship" program is to achieve the goals of the Saudi Vision 2030, by providing quality knowledge for distinguished people in priority areas such as the space sector, and enhancing the Kingdom's capabilities in the fields of research, development and innovation in the space sector by sending students to distinguished universities, in addition to enhancing Partnership and scientific exchange with the most prestigious universities, research and development centers, and international research institutions specialized in space science.

Saudi efforts did not stop at the space missions program only. Last May, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and the American company "Lockheed Martin" in Washington signed a cooperation agreement to develop space and aviation technologies and invest in its advanced research.

The agreement aims to promote and develop the space economy, digital economy and innovation, and develop human capabilities for the Kingdom. The areas of cooperation include projects that will enhance research and development capabilities in the space sector in the Kingdom, and identify appropriate projects for joint implementation.

Saudi Arabia has also taken a major step towards the space sector, after it announced last July that it had signed the “Artemis” agreement with the US space agency “NASA”, to join the international coalition in the field of civil exploration and the use of the moon, Mars, comets and asteroids for peaceful purposes, which also includes joining the The Global Alliance for the Return of Man to the Moon.

International presence
The objective of the agreement, which includes 13 clauses, is to enhance the Saudi presence internationally and actively contribute to joint international projects, as well as to consolidate the Kingdom's position in the field of "new space" through its contribution to emerging space activities through scientific and exploratory missions, strengthening the space economy, and developing research capabilities. and human capital.

In addition, Saudi Arabia's accession to the "Artemis" agreement is an affirmation of its commitment to the peaceful and sustainable exploration and use of space, as part of its economic diversification plan, which aims to attract foreign investments and provide thousands of jobs for Saudi youth.

The implementation of the “Artemis” agreement includes 3 phases, namely: sending unmanned space missions to conduct scientific tests and experiments, followed by the phase of sending space missions manned by astronauts and experts to explore and return without landing on the moon’s surface, up to the third stage in which landing on the moon’s surface and completing Research and exploration, which paves the way for humanity's three stages of exploration of space and other celestial bodies.

Saudi Arabia's relationship and interest in space is not a recent one, but rather extends for decades, as Saudi Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz was the first Arab and Muslim astronaut to roam space on his 1985 flight with the American space shuttle "Discovery".

In this regard, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology carried out scientific experiments in space in cooperation with the US space agency “NASA” and Stanford University on the “Saudi Sat 4” moon, and participated in the Chang’e 4 moon exploration mission in cooperation with the Chinese Space Agency. 2018, on a rare mission to explore the invisible side of the moon.

With the aim of contributing to the preparation of a generation of innovators, Saudi teams, under the auspices and supervision of the Saudi Space Authority, participated in the "NASA International Challenge for Space Applications", providing innovative solutions to the challenges facing Earth and space, which was held on the second and third of October last year.

The Kingdom was able to achieve several advanced positions, including: the first in the world in the list of the best nominated projects in the world, the first in the Middle East and North Africa in the honor list of the top 20 projects participating in the NASA International Challenge, and the highest in the world with a participation rate of 16% of the total participation International Candidate.

The CEO of the Saudi Space Authority, Dr. Muhammad bin Saud Al-Tamimi, confirms that the Kingdom pays great attention to the field of space and its economy, as an extension of what it started with the first space flight in 1985 , leading to the aspiration to be one of the leading countries in the field of space by 2030, stressing that space exploration is not It is not only a scientific achievement, but it is also an important economic resource, and a factor in the prosperity of mankind.
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