Prince Sultan bin Salman, chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Space Commission, visited the headquarters of the Russian space agency Roscosmos on Wednesday, for a working session alongside its director general, Dmitry Olegovich Rogozin.
The two sides discussed areas ripe for collaboration, including possible investments in the space sector as well as joint training programs and shared technological research.
Prince Sultan stressed the importance of the relationship between the two countries, and that it was essential to maintain it for both to progress in the increasingly competitive global space sector. He cited growing investment and cooperation as reasons to be optimistic, and highlighted the work of a joint commission between the two currently developing a Saudi national space strategy.
Rogozin said “Russia considers Saudi Arabia a serious partner, with a great regional and international influence.”
The two nations possess unique heritage in terms of cosmic exploration. Saudi Arabia was the first Arab (and, indeed, the first Muslim) nation to send an astronaut into space — Prince Sultan himself, in 1985. The Soviet Union, meanwhile, which preceded the Russian Federation, was the first nation to send a man into orbit, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in 1961.