Saudi Arabia creates space agency


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The new colonial movement: Saudi Arabia has created its own space agency with the goal of diversifying its economy.

The man chosen to lead the agency, 62-year-old Prince Sultan bin Salman, is also the first Saudi to fly in space, having flown on a shuttle mission in 1985.

The Saudis also shook up the leadership of a number of government agencies. It is theorized though unproven that this shake-up is in connection with the murder of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.

What this space agency will actually do is very unclear. What is clear is that it was created in response to the aggressive space effort of the UAE. The competition has forced Saudi Arabia’s hand.

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4 comments

  • wodun

    Can’t wait to see what develops once SpaceX is flying people. Boeing too but I doubt they will be seeking out many customers.

  • Dick Eagleson

    The Saudis are about a century late to be starting on a program of modernization and economic diversification. A social order based on 7th-centuiry religion and tribal barbarian monarchy is going to mix with actual modernity about as well as oil and water. Or, given the essentially inevitable outcome of such an experiment, a better – and space-related – analogy might be to UDMH mixing with NO4.

  • wayne

    “Toxic Propellant Hazards”
    1966 NASA KSC
    https://youtu.be/bDRKeM9kKxs
    (22:10)

  • Jason

    From “Bold They Rise”, a novel about the Space Shuttle, written by David Hitt and Heather Smith: On STS-51G, the crew was discussing public affairs relating to the Sultan’s presence, “We were told not to tell any camel jokes when Sultan showed up, and the first thing he did when he walked through the door was to say, “I left my camel outside.””
    I thought that was pretty funny.

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