Prince Sultan receives ASE Order and Award
The Association of Space Explorers (ASE) awarded Prince Sultan bin Salman, chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), ASE’s Order and Award in recognition of his extensive efforts made in the field of space.
The award was conferred on the prince on Wednesday in Beijing during its 27th Assembly.
A statement from SCTA’s media head revealed that Prince Sultan is the first to receive the prestigious award for an astronaut outside of the United States and Russia.
As a founding member, Prince Sultan was recognized for his efforts in the field of space and serving the organization in realizing its goals and objectives for the benefit of the members and the astronauts’ organization.
The high-profile event was held under the auspices of the vice premier of China’s State Council, Ma Kai, and attended by nearly 100 astronauts from 19 countries including China, the US, Russia, Mongolia and Malaysia.
Founded in 1985, the ASE Assembly, with 350 astronaut members from 35 countries, aims to improve dialogue and communication among the astronauts and support space science. It also seeks to promote environmental awareness and encourage international cooperation in human space exploration, besides the provision of grants and studies in the area of space work.
Prince Sultan was on a five-day visit to take part in the conference. He was received by Saudi Ambassador to Beijing Yahya bin Abdul-Kareem Al-Zaid and Chairman of the ASE’s organizing committee Yang Liwei, who is the deputy director of the China Manned Space Engineering Office and is also the country’s first astronaut.
The Kingdom hosted the 25th ASE conference in 2012 under the aegis of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, which was held on the sidelines of the Saudi International Conference for Space and Aeronautics Technology in Riyadh in 2012.
In 1989, the Kingdom was the host of the organization of the Fifth conference under the aegis of the late Crown Prince Sultan. The conference was the largest gathering of astronauts.