Arab Astronaut’s Concern: Facing Mecca for Prayers
The prospect of traveling in outer space does not worry Saudi Arabian Prince Sultan ibn Salman, the first Muslim, first Arab and first royal astronaut.
But the 28-year-old prince says he is concerned about performing his daily Muslim duties of prayers, fasts and ablutions during his space voyage in June.
Prince Sultan will be on board the U.S. space shuttle Discovery’s next voyage, which will launch the second Arab communications satellite, Arabsat 1-B.
“It will be difficult to perform Muslim duties because we will be orbiting the Earth once every 90 minutes. It will be impossible to pray in the direction of Mecca,” Prince Sultan told a daily newspaper in Jidda in an interview published Sunday.