Saudi Arabia and the UAE in a space race

interview – Tuesday, May 9 at 4:43 a.m. French time, Saudi Arabia will send two astronauts – including a woman – to the International Space Station, two months after its UAE neighbor. For David Rigoulet-Roze, an Iris researcher, these two countries are in space competition.

David Rigolet-Rose is a research associate at the Institute for International Relations and Strategy (Iris) and editor-in-chief of the journal. Strategic Directions ».

Le Figaro. – This Tuesday, at 4:43 am French time, Saudi Arabia will send Its first astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) . Why is this country interested in space?

David Rigolet Rose. – First of all, it is a strategic location in relation to its Emirati neighbor, which has a head start. Rayana Barnawi and Ali Al-Qarni, the two chosen Saudi astronauts, will join the Emirati sultan Al-Neyadi, who is already on the International Space Station. So there will be three Arab astronauts at the same time on the International Space Station. They are in the space race. There is a stimulating parallel between these two cases. The Saudi Space Authority was established in 2018, while the history of the UAE Space Center actually dates back to 2006. It is somewhat similar to the same mechanism stimuli From the United States and Russia…

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