Saudi Arabia has launched its own astronaut program, and the first trip to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2023 is planned to send a female astronaut – something rather unexpected for this conservative Islamic country, where until 2018 women were banned from driving cars. If this happens, she will be the first female astronaut from the Arab world at large.
The mission will be carried out in cooperation with the American company Axiom Space and on a craft of another American company, Space X. The female astronaut will be accompanied by another Saudi astronaut and two Americans, as part of Axiom’s second private mission to the ISS in early next year, according to Reuters.
“Space belongs to all of humanity and that is one of the reasons why Axiom Space is pleased to start a new partnership with the Saudi Space Commission to train and send Saudi astronauts into space, including the first woman,” said company president and CEO Michael Suffredini.
A Saudi has already been in space in the past, Prince Sultan bin Salman Al Saud, who had flown on the American space shuttle Discovery in 1985. It is recalled that the United Arab Emirates has the most advanced and ambitious space program among the Arab countries, something which certainly has not gone unnoticed by S.Arabia.
Naftemporiki.gr with information from APE-MPE
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