Saudi Arabia to send female astronaut into space in 2023

(ORDO NEWS) — Saudi Arabia said Thursday it would begin a program to train astronauts for a space flight scheduled for next year. The crew will include a woman whose flight will be historic for the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia is actively developing science and technology as part of its broad strategy to rebuild the economy and reduce dependence on oil by 2030.

The plan, backed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also calls for greater inclusion of women in the workforce. In 2018, Saudi Arabia lifted a long-standing ban on women driving.

The first Arab to go into space was Prince Sultan bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, the brother of the Crown Prince and an Air Force pilot. He was part of the NASA Discovery crew in 1985. He later served as head of the Saudi Arabian Space Commission from 2018 to 2021.

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