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Saudi Astronauts Make History As They Lift Off Into Space

Saudi astronauts Rayyanah Barnawi and Ali AlQarni arrived at the International Space Station today at 19:45 UAE time.

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saudi astronauts make history as they lift off into space

Rayyanah Barnawi has made history by becoming the first female Arab astronaut to enter space after blasting off from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A with Arab teammate Ali AlQarni.

The pair were joined by astronaut Peggy Whitson, along with business pioneer and pilot John Shoffner on the sixteen-hour journey to the International Space Station (ISS). They were welcomed aboard in a ceremony at 19:45 UAE time today, Monday, May 22, 2023.

The astronauts became Saudi Arabia’s first citizens to leave earth in nearly 40 years, after Saudi Prince Sultan bin Salman became the first Arab to go to space in 1985.

Also Read: Take A Balloon Journey To Space, Complete With Fine Dining!

The pioneers will spend eight days on the ISS alongside fellow Arab Sultan Al Neyadi from the United Arab Emirates — aka the Sultan of Space — who is embarking on a longer six-month-long space mission.

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Initial Trials Of Dubai’s Driverless Evocargo Trucks Completed

Testing was announced on July 17, and the completion is a major milestone towards upgrading the region’s logistics infrastructure.

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initial trials of dubai's driverless evocargo trucks completed
Dubai Media Office

A Dubai-based company has completed the initial trials for the UAE’s first driverless trucks. The groundbreaking achievement by Evocargo, partnering with Dubai South, took place at Dubai South Logistics District, and marked a significant step towards incorporating autonomous technologies into the region’s wider logistics infrastructure.

Announced on Wednesday, July 17th, the trials featured the Evocargo N1 unmanned electric truck navigating a predetermined route within a controlled setting. The test involved interactions with common road obstacles such as cars, trucks, and pedestrians, aiming to evaluate the vehicle’s hardware and software reliability, accident prevention systems, and overall readiness for public road use.

Officials were keen to highlight that this accomplishment aligns with the UAE’s ambitious strategy to position itself as a global leader in innovation and technology adoption. The country aims to have 25% of all transportation in Dubai autonomous by 2030, underscoring its commitment to revolutionizing the logistics sector using advanced technologies.

Mohsen Ahmad, CEO of the Logistics District at Dubai South, emphasized the importance of the collaboration with Evocargo in enhancing the region’s logistics capabilities. He noted that autonomous vehicles are set to increase efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, and establish a sustainable logistics infrastructure that will benefit both Dubai and the wider UAE.

Also Read: Riyadh Developers Reveal New 45,000-Seat Murabba Stadium

Ahmed Al-Ansi, CEO of Evocargo Autonomous Logistic Services, also expressed optimism that the trials will draw new customers and investments across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The partnership aims to lead in innovative tech solutions, further establishing the UAE as a pioneer in autonomous transportation.

The successful completion of the trials marks a crucial step towards realizing the UAE’s vision for a technologically advanced and sustainable future in which autonomous vehicles are expected to play a pivotal role in global logistics.

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