In an address to a two-day space technology conference in Riyad, which
ended on Oct. 3, Bolden raised the prospect that Saudi Arabia would receive
U.S. space technology, Middle East Newsline reported. He said President Barack Obama and Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton were reviewing export controls to enable Washington to
provide its allies with space technology tools.
In October, King Abdul Aziz City signed two agreements with NASA designed
to expand cooperation between Saudi Arabia and the United States. Officials
said the accord stipulated joint projects as well as the exchange of
"We want to extend and sustain our presence across the solar system,"
One of the agreements called for an expansion of scientific cooperation
and research between Saudi Arabia and the United States. The two sides also
signed a so-called Letter of Intent to advance joint efforts in aeronautics
"Our joint experience with them will be applied to satellites
manufactured in Saudi Arabia," King Abdul Aziz City vice president Turki Bin
Saud said. "A Saudi team is currently working in the United States to design
and produce satellites."
Saudi Arabia has been regarded as the most advanced space operator in
the Arab world. Riyad has so far launched 12 satellites with assistance from
European and U.S. contractors.
"These satellites focus on space research which benefits many public and
private agencies," Turki said.
In 1985, NASA, with agreements with more than 100 countries, trained and
deployed a Saudi Air Force pilot for a successful mission aboard the Space
Shuttle. During the conference, also attended by Royal Saudi Air Force
commander Gen. Mohammed Al Ayesh, the former Saudi astronaut, Prince Sultan
Bin Salman, reflected on the space mission.
"When you look out of the window and see the atmosphere only this thick,
and think that is all we have to live in, it is then you see things
differently," Sultan, the only Arab or Muslim who traveled in space,