The Saudi Space Commission has unveiled the official logo of the Kingdom's scientific mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
On May 8, Saudi Arabia will make history when it sends its first-ever astronauts to ISS – including the first Arab female in space.
Ali al-Qarni and Rayyanah Barnawi - members of the inaugural Saudi national astronaut program - will part of the four-man crew Axiom-2 mission to blast off in May from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The Saudi Space Commission has now revealed the official logo which ‘embodies the goals of the Kingdom's scientific mission, which is centered around empowering people, protecting the planet and opening new horizons through the researches the astronauts will conduct in the fields of health and environmental sustainability’, state news agency SPA reported Tuesday.
The logo – which will be placed on the official uniform of the crew – is a circular shape, and features the Kingdom's flag, representing the identity of the Saudi astronauts, and reflecting the Kingdom's heritage, history, cultural specificity, and traditions.
This is reflected on the logo through the green flag that symbolizes the banner of Islam; the white color which is the symbol of purity and on which the two Shahadahs (Islamic testimony) were written; and the drawn sword that is one of the manifestations of the authentic and ancient Saudi heritage that confirms firmness in applying justice.
The logo also highlights the Kingdom's location on the world map, and the Saudi flag appears surrounded by the names of the two Saudi astronauts to show the home of the astronauts within the mission.
This comes in addition to two radioactive beams that launch from the Kingdom into space, representing the two Saudi astronauts, in order to present a motivational message for Saudi youth to be an interest in space science, raise awareness of science, technology, engineering and mathematics jobs, qualify competencies, and promote higher education in the field of space.
The mission’s logo also stresses the Kingdom's aspirations and commitment to support space exploration efforts and reinforce the Saudi citizens’ role in space programs and its fields of science and technology, with the aim of achieving the goals of the Kingdom's Vision 2030 that seeks to highlight the Kingdom's role in the space sector and its technologies.
This week, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman offered support and encouragement during a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Axiom Mission 2 (Ax-2) crew.
Once in space, the astronauts will conduct 20 groundbreaking experiments, including research into predicting and preventing cancer and a study into how to generate artificial rain in future human settlements on the Moon and Mars.
This mission represents a return to human spaceflight for Saudi Arabia – some 40 years after Saudi Arabia sent the first Arab, Prince Sultan bin Salman, to space in 1985 - and will make the Kingdom the first nation not part of the official International Space Station partnership to have two astronauts aboard the ISS at the same time.
While 263 people from 20 countries have visited the ISS, Saudi Arabia will become only the sixth nation to have two national astronauts simultaneously working aboard the orbiting laboratory.
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