This Day in History

This Day in History (1985): Aramco welcomes astronauts

Aramcons get an up close look at first Arab Muslim astronaut and his cohorts.

This Day in History (1985): Aramco welcomes astronauts

From the Dec. 18, 1985, edition of The Arabian Sun


HH Amir Sultan ibn Salman ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz, hailed everywhere in Saudi Arabia as "the first Arab Muslim astronaut," and his colleagues from last June's Discovery space mission, called at Aramco Sunday morning on the last day of their whirlwind tour of the Kingdom.


The astronauts and others in their party arrived at the Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center (EXPEC) in Dhahran, where they were greeted by Aramco president Ali I. Naimi and other members of management.


As the group strolled across the outdoor courtyard of the complex, many Aramco office workers caught a fleeting glimpse of the astronauts from their windows or the roof of the Conference Center.


Six of the seven who flew aboard Discovery on Mission 51-G were present.


"It is a great honor for Aramco to receive you," Naimi said in a welcoming statement given from the rostrum in the EXPEC Auditorium.


"It could be said that you in space exploration and we at Aramco work in opposite directions. You probe the heavens while we delve beneath the earth's surface. Yet, our endeavors are linked in significant ways."


Naimi pointed out that both types of exploration rely on advanced technology.


Caption for top photo: The astronauts and guests listen in the EXPEC Auditorium to welcoming remarks by Ali I. Al-Naimi, Aramco president. Seated in the front row from left are HHAmir Sultan bin Salman bin ‘And al-‘Aziz and colleagues Daniel Brandenstein, Patrick Baudry, Steve Nagel, John Fabian, and John Creighton.


Also on this day

2019 — U.S. President Donald J. Trump impeached for the first time


2018 A meteor exploded over the Bering Sea with a force more than 10 times greater than the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945


2006 The United Arab Emirates holds its first elections ever


1966 Saturn's moon Epimetheus is discovered by astronomer Richard Walker


1958 Project SCORE, the world's first communications satellite, is launched


1932 The Chicago Bears upend the Portsmouth Spartans in the first NFL playoff game to win the NFL Championship


1917 Prohibition is passed by the U.S. Congress


1867 A magnitude 7.0 earthquake strikes near Taiwan, causing a tsunami that kills nearly 600 people


1777 The U.S. celebrates its first Thanksgiving, marking also a victory by the American rebels over the British at Saratoga earlier in the fall


1271 Kublai Khan renames his empire "Yuan," officially marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of Mongolia and China


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