In 2006 a conference was convened to determine which exact direction Muslim astronauts should face when praying in space. The issue remains unresolved
“The Qibla (Arabic: قبلة, “”direction””), also transliterated as Qiblah, Kiblah, Kıble or Kibla, is the direction that should be faced when a Muslim prays during salah. It is fixed as the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca. Most mosques contain a wall niche, known as mihrab, that indicates the Qiblah. Most multifaith prayer rooms will also contain a Qibla, although usually less standardized in appearance than one would find within a mosque.Muslims all praying towards the same point is traditionally considered to symbolize the unity of all Muslims worldwide under Law of God.The Qiblah has importance beyond salaat and plays a part in various ceremonies. The head of an animal that is slaughtered using halal methods is aligned with the Qiblah. After death, Muslims are buried with their heads turned right towards the direction of the Qiblah. Thus, archaeology can indicate an Islamic necropolis if no other signs are present.
In April 2006, Malaysian National Space Agency (Angkasa) sponsored a conference of scientists and religious scholars to address the issue of how the Qiblah should be determined when one is in orbit. The conference concluded that the astronaut should determine the location of the Qiblah “”according to [their] capability””. There have already been several Muslim astronauts, among them the very first being Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (1985), the latest being the first Muslim woman in space Anousheh Ansari (2006) and the Malaysian angkasawan Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor (2007).Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has stated that one should face the direction of the Earth