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  • Writer's pictureRANGAN PAL

Saudi Space Commission CEO meets with key figures in India’s space industry

The Saudi Space Commission (SSC) CEO has held several meetings with key figures in

the Indian space industry to discuss cooperation and strategic partnerships.

SSC CEO Dr. Mohammed bin Saud al-Tamimi discussed ways to

“enhance cooperation and build strategic
partnerships in space economies and its future
sectors in a way that serves common interests,” a
Saudi Press Agency report said.

On Thursday, al-Tamimi met with the head of the Indian Space Research Organization

(ISRO), Sreedhara Panicker Somanath, to discuss ways to strengthen the Saudi space

sector by learning from India’s experiences.

“They also discussed areas of cooperation between the two sides in the transfer and localization of knowledge and contributing to the development of space industries in the Kingdom to achieve its strategic goals,” SPA reported.
“Both sides also had discussions on… the recent opening up of the space sector for private investments,” a statement from ISRO said.

Additionally, al-Tamimi held bilateral meetings with several heads of Indian companies in the space sector including NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), one of the commercial arms of ISRO, where he was briefed on the company’s experiences and projects and best practices.

The commission chief also visited the U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) in the south-Indian city of Bangalore and got acquainted with the technologies being developed in the manufacturing, design, and launching of satellites.

Al-Tamimi also met the director of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) in the south-Indian state of Kerala to discuss aspects of cooperation in the fields of qualifying local human resources and specialists in space programs and developing its technologies in the Kingdom.

He touched upon identifying academic programs and research and innovation laboratories that can be implemented in the Kingdom.

“The India visit aims to enhance joint economic, commercial, and knowledge cooperation in space between the Kingdom and India, and to maximize the benefit from Indian experiences and expertise in this sector, to achieve the aspirations and goals of Saudi Vision 2030,” the SPA report said.

ISRO invited al-Tamimi to the G20 Space Economy Leaders Meeting in July, to be held in Bengaluru, the ISRO statement said. It added that the SSC CEO invited ISRO to participate in the Space Economy Forum planned for the end of 2023 in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi Space Commission was established by royal order in December 2018. It seeks to build a strong, local human capital that can be an essential resource for the national space industry and enhance the Kingdom’s international standing in the sector.

In a matter of weeks, Saudi Arabia will make history when it sends its first-ever astronauts to the International Space Station – including the first Arab female in space.

Ali al-Qarni and Rayyanah Barnawi - members of the inaugural Saudi national astronaut program - will be part of the four-man crew Axiom-2 mission to blast off in May from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

It comes nearly 40 years after Saudi Arabia sent the first Arab - Prince Sultan bin Salman - to space in 1985.

The two Saudi astronauts will join Axiom Space’s second all-private astronaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS), marking another pivotal step toward Axiom Station, the world’s first commercial space station and successor to the ISS.


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