Saudi Arabia, 10 Arab Countries to Cooperate on Space Program

Pan-Arab body for space program announced. (AFP)
Pan-Arab body for space program announced. (AFP)
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Saudi Arabia, 10 Arab Countries to Cooperate on Space Program

Pan-Arab body for space program announced. (AFP)
Pan-Arab body for space program announced. (AFP)

Eleven Arab states including Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Morocco on Tuesday signed on to the first regional team to cooperate on a space program, the UAE said.

"Today at the Global Space Congress in Abu Dhabi, we attended the signing of a charter to establish the first Arab body for space cooperation, bringing together 11 Arab states," said Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum in comments carried by the government media office.

The pan-Arab team's first project is "a satellite that Arab scientists will work on from here in the UAE", he said, according to AFP.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed, the UAE's vice president and prime minister, vowed in 2017 to send four Emirati astronauts to the International Space Station by 2022.

The UAE announced last month that its first astronaut will blast off on a mission to the station on September 25.

The oil-rich Gulf state has two astronauts in training as it looks to get an ambitious space program aimed at exploring Mars off the ground.

The astronaut program would make the UAE one of only a handful of states in the Middle East to have sent a person into space, as it looks to make good on a pledge to become a global leader in space exploration.

The first Arab in outer space was Saudi Arabia's Sultan bin Salman Al-Saud, who flew on a US shuttle mission in 1985.

Two years later, Syrian air force pilot Muhammed Faris spent a week aboard the Soviet Union's Mir space station.



World Breaks Hottest Day Record for 2nd Day in a Row

A Cuban fisherman rests in a makeshift raft at sunset in Havana Bay on July 19, 2024. (Photo by YAMIL LAGE / AFP)
A Cuban fisherman rests in a makeshift raft at sunset in Havana Bay on July 19, 2024. (Photo by YAMIL LAGE / AFP)
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World Breaks Hottest Day Record for 2nd Day in a Row

A Cuban fisherman rests in a makeshift raft at sunset in Havana Bay on July 19, 2024. (Photo by YAMIL LAGE / AFP)
A Cuban fisherman rests in a makeshift raft at sunset in Havana Bay on July 19, 2024. (Photo by YAMIL LAGE / AFP)

The world again registered its hottest day on record on Monday, July 22, inching past Sunday which had just taken the title, according to preliminary data from a European Union monitoring agency.
As heatwaves sizzled around the world and wildfires engulfed parts of the Mediterranean, Russia and Canada, the global average surface air temperature rose to 17.15 degrees Celsius (62.87 degrees Fahrenheit) on Monday. That was 0.06 C (0.11 F) higher than Sunday's record according to the EU's Copernicus Climate Change Service, which has tracked such data since 1940.
This includes temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere which is currently in winter, bringing down the worldwide average.
Scientists said it was possible that Tuesday or Wednesday of this week could again surpass Monday's record, as temperature peaks generally happen in clusters, Reuters reported.
The last record hot day was in July 2023, when the daily peak was broken across four consecutive days from July 3 through 6. Before that, it was set in August 2016.
What makes this year's record unusual is that unlike in 2023 and 2016, the world in April moved out of the El Nino climate pattern which generally amplifies global temperatures owing to warmer-than-usual waters in the Eastern Pacific.
Karsten Haustein, a climate scientist at Leipzig University in Germany, said it was remarkable that the record had been breached again now with the world well into the "neutral" phase of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation.
This points to the greater-than-ever influence of climate change, driven by the burning of fossil fuels, in boosting global temperatures.
"This past Monday might have set a new global record for warmest absolute global average temperature ever - by that I mean going back tens of thousands of years," Haustein said.