Saudi astronauts Rayyanah Barnawi and Ali Al-Qarni conducted a second educational experiment, the “space kite”, from the International Space Station (ISS) with middle school students in Saudi Arabia.
The interaction, via satellite, is aimed at building and incentivizing a new generation of Saudi leaders, explorers and scientists whilst achieving the objectives of the Kingdom's Vision 2030 in terms of building cadres and enhancing a culture of research, development and innovation in students.
The Saudi Space Commission is organizing the educational experiments in partnership with the Communication, Space and Technology Commission, the Ministry of Education, King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba), and Al-Riyadh and Misk schools.
The experiment allowed students to communicate with the two astronauts, ask questions and compare research results from the astronaut's experience in a microgravity environment to students who are on the ground.
The experiment with middle school students tackled aerodynamics. It focused on comparing the aerodynamics of the space kite inside the microgravity environment of the ISS, versus what happens on Earth, showing them how the behavior is different on the ground as opposed to in space.
The experiments seek to increase the students' interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. They also aim to build human capital by attracting talents and developing the necessary skills in this field, contributing to enhancing the Kingdom's role in developing the space sector and its position in the global community in space science research and investing in research in the service of humanity.