According to a statement issued by the Russian Government Information Office, Russia and Saudi Arabia have begun preparing for a joint human-crewed space mission.
The statement revealed that Alexander Novak, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, chaired along with Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman the seventh meeting of the Russian-Saudi Intergovernmental Committee for Trade, Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation.
Novak indicated during the meeting that there are promising prospects for cooperation between the two countries in the use of cosmic space, including in preparing astronauts and planning to establish a joint manned space mission.
It is noteworthy that during the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Russia in 2015, a joint memorandum of intent in the field of space was signed in St. Petersburg between King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and the Russian Space Agency. It discusses the Kingdom’s participation in Russian space flights and space exploration by manned and unmanned vehicles.
During the historic visit of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz to Russia in October 2017, a cooperation agreement was signed between the two sides, following the summit between the Saudi monarch and Russian President Vladimir Putin in space exploration for peaceful purposes.
In November 2019, the head of the Russian Space Agency, Dmitry Rogozin, reported that there were talks between Moscow and Riyadh about sending a Saudi astronaut to the International Space Station.