JEDDAH: In a move that experts said will help to further advance the space sector in the Kingdom, the Saudi Space Commission has joined the International Astronautical Federation.
The federation, a leading space organization founded in 1951 to promote discussions between scientists worldwide and encourage cooperation in space, announced the Saudi membership on Monday.
Mohammed Al-Tamimi, CEO of the commission, said that the space industry is one of the sectors targeted for development by Vision 2030 with the aim of the Kingdom becoming a world leader in the field. He added that the commission is working to enhance the sector through the scientific and professional development of the skills required in the field, and by providing the necessary support to promote research and development in space technologies.
“We are pleased today to join the International Space Federation to enhance the Kingdom’s stature globally and to consolidate its leading role in the development of the space economy internationally,” Al-Tamimi said.
The announcement comes as part of the efforts to enhance the Kingdom’s role in the space sector in the region and internationally, and to stimulate growth and inspire future generations, authorities said. They added that membership of the federation represents a new chapter for cooperation with the international community to establish and develop principles and frameworks that will enhance international laws and maximize the benefits obtained from the space sector and its technologies.
The Saudi Space Commission was established by royal decree in late 2018 to stimulate space-related research and industrial activities. In 2020, Prince Sultan bin Salman, the first Saudi, Arab and Muslim astronaut, said the Kingdom was planning an SR8 billion ($2.1 billion) investment in the nation’s space program as part of Vision 2030.
“In the time we live now, space is becoming a fundamental sector of the global economy, touching every aspect of our lives on Earth,” he said. “Space business and the space economy are expected to grow into the trillions of riyals as we go forward.
“We believe there are a lot of opportunities that exist in the space sector and we, in Saudi Arabia, intend to tap these opportunities at all levels.”
The Kingdom aspires to being a leading global player in the space industry while advancing the prospects for future generations, the prince added.