17.06.

1985: The First Royal Prince, Arab and Muslim, to Fly in Outer Space

1985: The First Royal Prince, Arab and Muslim, to Fly in Outer Space
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/Patrick Baudry and Prince Sultan in 1985

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 17 June 1985
  • Prince Sultan, a member of the Saudi royal dynasty, became the first Muslim and Arab in space on this day in 1985. In fact, he was the first person of royal blood ever sent into space.

On this day in 1985, the first Arab and Muslim was sent into space. It was Prince Sultan bin Salman Al Saud, a member of the Saudi royal dynasty.

It is interesting that he was the first person of royal blood sent into space. To be precise, Prince Sultan is the grandson of Saudi King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, the first monarch of Saudi Arabia. Note that Sultan is his first name and not his title.

Prince Sultan is the son of today’s Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, who would in the event of current Saudi king’s death become the new ruler of Saudi Arabia.

Five uncles of Prince Sultan have sat on the throne of that state so far. Prince Sultan was born in the Saudi capital Riyadh in 1956, and at the time of the space flight he was 28 years old.

Prince Sultan flew on Space Shuttle Discovery. It is interesting that he is also the youngest person that ever flew on the U.S. Space Shuttle (no U.S. citizen under the age of 32 years was sent into space, and Prince Sultan was, as mentioned, only 28 years at the time).

Prince Sultan was also a member of the Saudi Air Force, where he reached the rank of colonel.

It is interesting that he was a fighter aircraft pilot, but is also licensed for piloting passenger aircraft. He is even qualified to operate helicopters.

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