Dubai: Saudi Arabia’s Space Commission has announced that it is organising a manned spaceflight programme where Saudi astronauts are expected to carry out 14 space scientific experiments.
The commission clarified that the astronaut programme features 14 space experiments, including six on brain and nervous system, while four on the immune system.
Three of the experiments will be for educational and awareness-raising purposes in the microgravity environment, and one experiment will be in cloud seeding.
The programme is part of the commission’s efforts to build a strong, local human capital that can be an essential resource for the national space industry and enhance the Kingdom’s international standing in the sector.
In a matter of weeks, Saudi Arabia will make history when it sends its first-ever astronauts to the International Space Station – including the first Arab female in space. Ali Al Qarni and Rayyanah Barnawi - members of the inaugural Saudi national astronaut programme - will be part of the four-man crew Axiom-2 mission to blast off in May from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
It comes nearly 40 years after Saudi Arabia sent the first Arab - Prince Sultan bin Salman - to space in 1985.
The two Saudi astronauts will join Axiom Space’s second all-private astronaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS), marking another pivotal step toward Axiom Station, the world’s first commercial space station and successor to the ISS.