Saudi Arabia is now actively developing a space mission to send the first woman into space next year. The country announced on September 22 that it had started an astronaut training program and intended to send two of its citizens into space as early as 2023. This mission is organized by Axiom Space company from the American Houston.
“Space belongs to all mankind. This is one of the reasons why Axiom Space is pleased to welcome our new partnership with the Saudi Space Commission to train Saudi astronauts, including Saudi Arabia’s first female astronaut,” said Axiom Space President and CEO Michael Suffredini.
Saudi Arabia used to send its astronauts into space. He was Prince Sultan bin Salman Al Saud, who participated in the STS-51-G mission on the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1985. Women have traditionally been restricted in rights in Saudi Arabia. In this country, for example, women were banned from driving cars until 2018. But now women are allowed to fly into space and control a spacecraft.
Axiom has already successfully completed one private mission to the International Space Station (ISS) with a crew. The flight, called Ax-1, delivered two space tourists and Axiom employee, former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Allegria to the orbital laboratory with a SpaceX Dragon capsule and returned them back a few weeks later. The next mission to the ISS, called Ax-2, is expected next spring.
The planned flight of the Saudi Arabia mission is likely to use SpaceX equipment to get to the ISS. But Axiom did not tell the details of future space travel.
As for Axiom, the company has plans not only to deliver people to the ISS. For example, the company plans to build and attach its own modules to the ISS in 2024, which will then be disconnected and become a separate commercial space station. Axiom is also developing spacesuits for the lunar rover as part of NASA’s Artemis III mission, which aims to land astronauts at the south pole of the Moon in 2025 or 2026.
Follow us on Twitter to get the most interesting space news in time