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Saudi Arabia to send first woman astronaut in space in 2023

A new space program aims to produce qualified Saudi citizens for space-related missions.

Saudi Arabia to send first woman astronaut in space in 2023
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced that it will send a Saudi woman to space in 2023, as part of the Saudi Space Commission’s new space program.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, a crew from the nation will be sent into space, a historic first for the Kindom. The new program comes under the umbrella of Saudi Vision 2030 and will fall under the National Space Strategy.

According to SPA, the astronaut program will pick qualified Saudi citizens, who can participate in long and short-term space flights, scientific experiments, international research, and future space-related missions. 

The move is part of the kingdom’s aim to allow its citizens to take advantage of the opportunities available in the space sector and to contribute to research that serves humanity. Saudi Arabia is also working on developing satellite technologies for use in remote sensing and space communications.

The kingdom’s neighboring country UAE has established itself as a global player in space-related matters, sending the Arab world’s first mission to Mars through its Hope probe in 2021. Nora al-Matrooshi, from the UAE, is the first Arab woman to start training to be an astronaut, although no space missions are scheduled yet.

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