Saudi Crown Prince meets Kingdom's first female astronaut ahead of mission launch to ISS

Historic expedition underlines country's commitment to supporting global space exploration efforts and encourages scientific research in KSA



Photos: SPA
Photos: SPA

By Web Desk

Published: Mon 17 Apr 2023, 1:58 PM

Last updated: Mon 17 Apr 2023, 2:50 PM

Saudi Arabia's Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Prime Minister and President of the Higher Council of Space, on Monday, met with the Saudi astronauts - Rayana Bernawi, Ali Al-Qarni, Mariam Fardous, and Ali Al-Ghamdi before the launch of the Kingdom's scientific mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

During the meeting, the Crown Prince welcomed the crew, including the first Saudi, Muslim, and Arab woman to fly to space, Rayana Bernawi, and the first Saudi astronaut, Ali Al-Qarni. He congratulated them on passing the qualifying program and underlined the importance of the space sector in enhancing the Kingdom's global competitiveness.

The Crown Prince emphasised the significance of space exploration in serving science and humanity, noting that it is a major pillar for sustainable development.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman receives Saudi astronaut Ali Al-Qarni.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman receives Saudi astronaut Ali Al-Qarni.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets Saudi astronauts.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets Saudi astronauts.

Addressing the astronauts, Mohammed bin Salman noted that they represent the abilities of the Saudi people and their ambitions to play a vital role in innovations and space research to find sustainable solutions for the welfare of humanity.

He also noted that the Saudi people are pinning great hopes on Rayana Bernawi and Ali Al-Qarni as ambassadors and representatives of the Kingdom at the ISS in a mission that has noble objectives to empower mankind, protect the planet and open new horizons for research in health and sustainable environment.

The astronauts expressed their pride in meeting with the Mohammed bin Salman and thanked him for his constant support. Rayana Bernawi and Ali Al-Qarni affirmed their full readiness for the historic mission, pledging to leave their mark on space exploration and research.

The historic mission underlines the Kingdom’s commitment to supporting global space exploration efforts, encourage scientific research in the field and enhance the Saudis' knowledge and roles in space programs and technologies as per the Saudi Vision 2030.

Inputs from SPA

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