The first stage, scheduled for completion in November 2005, will produce the space museum. A two-year second stage will feature a space adventure park. Project sources say the investment was originally scheduled for Dubai, but was switched to Jordan after King Abdullah’s early-September visit to Moscow.

As part of the project, a Jordanian pilot will undergo six months of cosmonaut training in Russia. The only two Arab astronauts are Saudi Prince Bandar bin Salman and Syria’s Mohammad Fares.