4 years have passed since the establishment of the Saudi Space Authority on December 27, 2018, during which time it was able to complete the construction phase to begin the harvest.
During the construction phase, which began with the assumption of responsibility by Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the authority completed in February 2021 all the stages of its establishment after completing its institutional building and holding many partnerships and agreements locally and internationally at various levels, leaving Prince Sultan the task in May of the same year, to be headed by the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Eng. Abdullah Al-Sawaha, since May 3, 2021.
Observers believe that the choice of Prince Sultan helped shorten the years of construction, as he is a well-known international figure in the field of space, and he keeps in his record many distinguished titles in this field, but the most famous title will remain, as he is the first Muslim and Arab astronaut to travel to the space station in 1985, On board the US space shuttle Discovery.
During the three years, during which he headed the authority, during the establishment stage, Prince Sultan established several programs, foremost of which are space leadership, building cadres and investment in the space sector, in cooperation with the Ministry of Investment and the Public Investment Fund.
With his extensive contacts in this field, he was also able to conclude cooperation agreements between the authority and many international space agencies, stressing on more than one occasion that the international welcome from international space agencies to cooperate with the authority reflects the Kingdom’s weight, capacity and capabilities.
The programs developed by Prince Sultan, during his presidency of the authority, resulted in important outputs that began to appear in succession during the era of his successor, Engineer Abdullah Al-Sawaha, to be a “benevolent successor for a good predecessor.”
The idea of the program is to qualify and develop national cadres specialized in the fields of space and its technologies for the bachelor’s and master’s stages, in the best (30) international universities, to be then employed on scholarships in the Saudi space program.
In early 2021, the authority launched the “Space Hackathon” at the national level to attract innovators and developers and qualify them to participate in the NASA Space Applications Challenge.
The establishment phase set by Prince Sultan resulted in a youthful passion for the space sector, bringing the number of participants in the hackathon to 1,382 participants divided into 122 teams from 13 cities across the Kingdom, of whom 26 teams qualified for the NASA International Challenge for Space Applications.
During this challenge, the Kingdom won several advanced positions, including: the first globally in the list of the best nominated projects in the world, and the first in the Middle East and North Africa in the honor list for the top 20 projects participating in the NASA International Challenge, and the highest in the world with a participation rate of 16% of The total number of international entries nominated.
In conjunction with the celebrations of the Saudi National Day, the Saudi Space Authority launched, on Thursday, the Kingdom’s program for astronauts, which aims to qualify experienced Saudi cadres to engage in space flights.
The program includes long and short-term flights, participation in scientific experiments, international research and future space-related missions, benefiting from the promising opportunities offered by the space sector and its industries globally, and contributing to research that serves humanity in a number of priority areas such as health, sustainability and space technology.
The Kingdom’s program for astronauts, which comes as an integrated package under the umbrella of Vision 2030, includes sending Saudi astronauts to space on missions to serve humanity. During the sending of the first Saudi woman into space.
The Kingdom also intends to launch the National Space Strategy in the coming months, which will provide a detailed presentation of all Saudi space programs and their goals that contribute to serving humanity.
This movement in the space sector led by the Saudi Space Authority stems from the Kingdom’s vision 2030 and its awareness of the importance of the space sector and its technologies, and its quest for continued sustainable development by promoting the knowledge economy and supporting innovation, as well as encouraging creators, students and talents to develop projects and innovations in the field of space and its technologies.
This reflects the Kingdom’s vision and mission to make innovation a sustainable way to invest in human capabilities and transform them into positive energies of high quality and added value in the world and the future of humanity, especially as the world is witnessing an increasing trend towards the economy, space sciences and technologies.
“Proud twitter enthusiast. Introvert. Hardcore alcohol junkie. Lifelong food specialist. Internet guru.”