Saudi Arabia wants to send women into space

Prince Sultan bin Salman is the first Muslim to reach space in 1985.NASA photo

According to the official news agency (SPA), astronauts in space will have to conduct scientific experiments in the areas of health, sustainability and technology.

The ad does not provide further details. So it is also unknown how the Saudi astronauts go into space. Russia, China, and SpaceX are currently able to put humans into orbit around the Earth. The United States is working on a manned lunar rocket and Boeing is planning its first commercial flight with a crew next year.

So far, people from about 40 countries have been in orbit around the Earth. Among them is one Saudi: Prince Sultan bin Salman in June 1985, making him the first Muslim in space. In 2007, during the space flight of Malaysia, guidelines were drawn up. These questions include how Muslims should pray in the direction of Mecca as they fly around the earth at a speed of more than 27,000 kilometers per hour, or roughly 8 kilometers per second. So Mecca is another place every moment.

The fatwa has to be flexible with this: it is preferable to be towards Mecca and otherwise towards the earth, but the intention is more important than the exact direction. Fasting during Ramadan can also be difficult: for astronauts it is always 45 minutes during the day and 45 minutes at night. The solution to that: stick to fasting times at the launch site, or make up for the fast after returning to Earth.

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Four people from the Netherlands have left the atmosphere of the Earth: Ludewijk van den Berg (1985, went on as a US citizen), Wubo Uckels (1985), Andre Kuipers (2004 and 2011-2012) and Oliver Daemen (2021). (ANP)

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