By HADIZA MOHAMMED
CAIRO- Saudi Arabia on Thursday said as part of its ambitious programme, it would send its first female astronaut into space in 2023.
The Saudi Space Commission launched an astronaut programme designed to groom Saudis to go on long and short-term space flights.
The monarchy’s state news agency SPA reported that the first flight scheduled for 2023 will carry two Saudi astronauts including a woman, without giving further details.
“This will mark an important historic event by sending the first Saudi woman to space,” the SPA said.
According to the agency the monarchy will unveil a detailed national space strategy in the next months.
In recent years, oil-wealthy Saudi Arabia has sought to shed its ultraconservative image as it was opening up to the world as part of dramatic changes.
In 2018, the kingdom allowed women to hit the road ending a decades-old ban on female driving. (dpa/NAN)