Saudi Arabia is moving towards a greater international collaboration on the “final frontier” — one in which the Kingdom first took flight in more than three decades ago. One of its efforts was the Saudi Space Commission’s meeting last October with its counterparts from the other G20 countries that addressed present and future space enterprise.
The meeting, which brought together officials to discuss cooperation on investment, development, and innovation in the space sector, not only underscored Saudi Arabia’s vast ambitions under the G20 presidency but also set the tone for the country’s vision of a future in which space exploration is a national priority.
In 1985, when Prince Sultan bin Salman became the first Arab and Muslim to reach space, the Kingdom set its sights on intensively developing the Saudi space sector. Years later, in 2018, the country made history again with the local manufacturing of two satellites, SaudiSat5A and 5B. Beyond representing the hopes of a nation, the satellite projects proved the country’s ability to localize expertise in satellite technology and lay the groundwork for additional Saudi advancements in this field. With the creation of the Saudi Space Commission in December 2018 and approval of its overarching strategy, the Kingdom has demonstrated its commitment to investing in the space sector as part of the nation’s development.
Now, with the aim of placing the country on the map of regional powers leading space exploration over the next few decades, Saudi Arabia has a challenging and rewarding path ahead.
Investing in the space sector can unite the nation with a single objective, serving as a reminder of how far the Kingdom has come since it first sent a man into space. Such a pursuit will inspire ambitious young men and women at the forefront of an arena firmly rooted in knowledge and exploration.