Saudi Astronaut Ali al-Qarni began an artificial seeding experiment in space, which will contribute to the development of the technology used on the earth and raise its efficiency by more than 50%.
His colleague, Rayana Bernawi, shared a video of the Grand Mosque in Mecca from the International Space Station (ISS), to which they arrived on Monday, where they joined seven other astronauts who are already on board.
The Saudi astronauts aim to carry out 14 scientific research experiments in several fields during their mission to the ISS, which will include human medicine, biomedicine, and physics.
Al-Qarni appeared in a video he posted on his Twitter account, carrying a green box inside the Columbus unit, which he said was an artificial seeding experiment and prepared by Saudis.
“The cloud seeding will help us to raise the artificial raining rate by 50%,” he stated.
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, headed by Dr. Ashraf Farhat, and in cooperation with the Saudi Space Authority, is supervising this experiment, which aims to simulate the cloud seeding process that is used in Saudi Arabia and many countries to increase precipitation rates.
The experiment aims to help scientists and researchers to devise new ways to provide conditions suitable for humans - including artificial rain - to live in space colonies on the surface of the Moon and Mars. It will also contribute to improving researchers’ understanding of rain seeding technology, which will help to increase rainfall rates.
Saudi Arabia seeks to enhance water resources, develop vegetation, and benefit from renewable sources through the artificial cloud seeding program, which was approved by the Council of Ministers in February 2020.
The operational work of the program, which already completed three phases, has achieved a success rate of more than 97 percent. Preliminary studies of rainfall point to precipitation amounts amounting to 3.5 billion cubic meters of water in the targeted areas, according to Dr. Ayman Ghulam, CEO of the National Center for Meteorology, the program supervisor.
For her part, Bernawi shared a video clip on Twitter showing the Holy Mosque of Makka from the ISS.
“After I finished my experiments for today, we happened to pass over Makka Al-Mukarramah,” she said.
On Thursday, Bernawi began her first scientific experiment, by testing the response of immune cells to infections using the live experiment box.