Emirates hosts $2.7 million race for traditional dhow ships

Emirates hosts $2.7 million race for traditional dhow ships
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Teams sail traditional wooden boats, or dhows, during the Al-Gaffal traditional long-distance dhow sailing race near the island of Sir Bu Nayer on May 14, 2018. Over a hundred traditional dhow racing boats will take part in the race which launches off from Sir Bu Nayer to Abu Dhabi. (AFP/Karim Sahib)
Emirates hosts $2.7 million race for traditional dhow ships
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TOPSHOT — Teams sail traditional wooden boats, or dhows, during the Al-Gaffal traditional long-distance dhow sailing race near the island of Sir Bu Nayer on May 14, 2018. Over a hundred traditional dhow racing boats will take part in the race which launches off from Sir Bu Nayer to Abu Dhabi. / AFP / KARIM SAHIB
Emirates hosts $2.7 million race for traditional dhow ships
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A team sails a traditional wooden boat, or dhow, during the Al-Gaffal traditional long-distance dhow sailing race near the island of Sir Bu Nayer on May 14, 2018. Over a hundred traditional dhow racing boats will take part in the race which launches off from Sir Bu Nayer to Abu Dhabi. (AFP/Karim Sahib)
Emirates hosts $2.7 million race for traditional dhow ships
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Teams sail traditional wooden boats, or dhows, during the Al-Gaffal traditional long-distance dhow sailing race near the island of Sir Bu Nayer on May 14, 2018. Over a hundred traditional dhow racing boats will take part in the race which launches off from Sir Bu Nayer to Abu Dhabi. (AFP/Karim Sahib)
Emirates hosts $2.7 million race for traditional dhow ships
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Teams sail traditional wooden boats, or dhows, during the Al-Gaffal traditional long-distance dhow sailing race near the island of Sir Bu Nayer on May 14, 2018. Over a hundred traditional dhow racing boats will take part in the race which launches off from Sir Bu Nayer to Abu Dhabi. (AFP/Karim Sahib)
Emirates hosts $2.7 million race for traditional dhow ships
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A team sails a traditional wooden boat, or a dhow, called Ghazi owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid during the Al-Gaffal traditional long-distance dhow sailing race near the island of Sir Bu Nayer on May 14, 2018. Over a hundred traditional dhow racing boats will take part in the race which launches off from Sir Bu Nayer to Abu Dhabi. (AFP/Karim Sahib)
Emirates hosts $2.7 million race for traditional dhow ships
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Teams sail traditional wooden boats, or dhows, during the Al-Gaffal traditional long-distance dhow sailing race near the island of Sir Bu Nayer on May 14, 2018. Over a hundred traditional dhow racing boats will take part in the race which launches off from Sir Bu Nayer to Abu Dhabi. (AFP/Karim Sahib)
Emirates hosts $2.7 million race for traditional dhow ships
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Teams sail traditional wooden boats, or dhows, during the Al-Gaffal traditional long-distance dhow sailing race near the island of Sir Bu Nayer on May 14, 2018. Over a hundred traditional dhow racing boats will take part in the race which launches off from Sir Bu Nayer to Abu Dhabi. (AFP/Karim Sahib)
Updated 14 May 2018

Emirates hosts $2.7 million race for traditional dhow ships

Emirates hosts $2.7 million race for traditional dhow ships
  • The Al-Gaffal Traditional Dhow Race happens every year and celebrates the dhow, which is a style of boat still used in the region

SIR BU NAIR ISLAND, United Arab Emirates: The United Arab Emirates has hosted a $2.7 million traditional dhow racing event, which saw the wooden boats powered only on the wind race off the coast of Dubai.
The Al-Gaffal Traditional Dhow Race happens every year and celebrates the dhow, which is a style of boat still used in the region.
The race began Monday on Sir Bu Nair Island, which is about 100 kilometers (66 miles) west of Dubai.
The ships gathered at dawn and the race began. It lasted about five hours and the finish line saw racers arrive near the iconic sailed-shaped Burj Al-Arab hotel.
The winners in this year’s contest was a team on a boat called the Ghazi, owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the crown prince of Dubai.


Japan awaits spacecraft return with asteroid soil samples

Updated 22 min 38 sec ago

Japan awaits spacecraft return with asteroid soil samples

Japan awaits spacecraft return with asteroid soil samples
  • Hayabusa2 will return with the world’s first asteroid subsurface samples
  • Scientists say they believe the samples contain valuable data unaffected by space radiation and other environmental factors

TOKYO: Japan’s space agency said the Hayabusa2 spacecraft successfully separated a capsule and sent it toward Earth to deliver samples from a distant asteroid that could provide clues to the origin of the solar system and life on our planet.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said the capsule successfully detached Saturday afternoon from 220,000 kilometers (136,700 miles) away in a challenging operation that required precision control. The capsule is now descending to land in a remote, sparsely populated area of Woomera, Australia, on Sunday.
Hayabusa2 left the asteroid Ryugu, about 300 million kilometers (180 million miles) away, a year ago. After the capsule release, it is now moving away from Earth to capture images of the capsule descending to the planet.
Yuichi Tsuda, project manager at the space agency JAXA, stood up and raised his fists as everyone applauded the moment command center officials confirmed the successful separation of the capsule.
Hayabusa2’s return with the world’s first asteroid subsurface samples comes weeks after NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft made a successful touch-and-go grab of surface samples from asteroid Bennu. China, meanwhile, announced this week its lunar lander collected underground samples and sealed them within the spacecraft for return to Earth, as space developing nations compete in their missions.
Many Hayabusa2 fans gathered to observe the moment of the capsule separation at public viewing events across the country, including one at the Tokyo Dome stadium.
In the early hours of Sunday, the capsule, protected by a heat shield, will briefly turn into a fireball as it reenters the atmosphere 120 kilometers (75 miles) above Earth. At about 10 kilometers (6 miles) above ground, a parachute will open to slow its fall and beacon signals will be transmitted to indicate its location.
JAXA staff have set up satellite dishes at several locations in the target area to receive the signals, while also preparing a marine radar, drones and helicopters to assist in the search and retrieval of the pan-shaped capsule, 40 centimeters (15 inches) in diameter.
Australian National University space rock expert Trevor Ireland, who is in Woomera for the arrival of the capsule, said he expected the Ryugu samples to be similar to the meteorite that fell in Australia near Murchison in Victoria state more than 50 years ago.
“The Murchison meteorite opened a window on the origin of organics on Earth because these rocks were found to contain simple amino acids as well as abundant water,” Ireland said, “We will examine whether Ryugu is a potential source of organic matter and water on Earth when the solar system was forming, and whether these still remain intact on the asteroid.”
Scientists say they believe the samples, especially ones taken from under the asteroid’s surface, contain valuable data unaffected by space radiation and other environmental factors. They are particularly interested in analyzing organic materials in the samples.
JAXA hopes to find clues to how the materials are distributed in the solar system and are related to life on Earth.
For Hayabusa2, it’s not the end of the mission it started in 2014. After dropping the capsule, it will return to space and head to another distant small asteroid called 1998KY26 on a journey slated to take 10 years one way, for a possible research including finding ways to prevent meteorites from hitting Earth.
So far, its mission has been fully successful. It touched down twice on Ryugu despite its extremely rocky surface, and successfully collected data and samples during the 1½ years it spent near Ryugu after arriving there in June 2018.
In its first touchdown in February 2019, it collected surface dust samples. In a more challenging mission in July that year, it collected underground samples from the asteroid for the first time in space history after landing in a crater that it created earlier by blasting the asteroid’s surface.
Asteroids, which orbit the sun but are much smaller than planets, are among the oldest objects in the solar system and therefore may help explain how Earth evolved.
Ryugu in Japanese means “Dragon Palace,” the name of a sea-bottom castle in a Japanese folk tale.