UAE among eight countries in NASA ‘Artemis Accords’ space coalition

In this image from video made available by Blue Origin, the New Shepard rocket lifts off from its launchpad in Texas, to test new lunar-landing technology for NASA that could help put astronauts back on the moon by 2024. (Blue Origin via AP)
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Updated 13 October 2020

UAE among eight countries in NASA ‘Artemis Accords’ space coalition

  • NASA emphasized need for international partnerships in building up sustainable presence on the Moon

WASHINGTON: NASA announced on Tuesday that eight countries have signed an international agreement called the Artemis Accords that outlines the principles of future exploration of the Moon and beyond.
The treaty paves the way for its founding members — Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, United Arab Emirates, Britain and the United States — to participate in NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to return humans to Earth’s nearest neighbor by 2024.
“Artemis will be the broadest and most diverse international human space exploration program in history, and the Artemis Accords are the vehicle that will establish this singular global coalition,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
“With today’s signing, we are uniting with our partners to explore the Moon and are establishing vital principles that will create a safe, peaceful, and prosperous future in space for all of humanity to enjoy.”
While NASA is leading the Artemis program, it has emphasized the need for international partnerships in building up a sustainable presence on the Moon, something the agency views as key ahead of an eventual human mission to Mars.
The agency hopes, for example, to excavate ice from the Moon’s south pole to supply both drinking water and to split the molecules apart to make rocket fuel for the onward journey.
It also plans to establish an orbital space station called Gateway.
NASA said the Artemis Accords reinforce and implement the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, and are split broadly into 10 principles.
The signatories commit, for example, to adhering to peaceful exploration in a transparent manner, to create hardware systems that are operable by every member nation, and to registering their space objects.
Other principles include affirming that they will render assistance to each other in case of emergency, make their scientific data public, preserve the heritage of outer space and plan for the safe disposal of space debris.
The announcement came a day after Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, said Moscow was unlikely to participate in the Gateway space station, marking the probable end of the type of close cooperation seen for two decades on the International Space Station (ISS).
The Artemis Accords also exclude China, a rising space rival to the United States.
China has an active lunar program with its own international collaborations.
Last month, a Chinese-German team published daily radiation measurements on the lunar surface recorded by the Chang’E 4 lander in 2019.
They concluded that the level of radiation limited astronauts to two or three months on the Moon — vital information that the US Apollo missions of the 1960s and 1970s had not gathered.


Spotify unveils top 5 most streamed K-Pop acts in Saudi Arabia, UAE 

Updated 20 October 2020

Spotify unveils top 5 most streamed K-Pop acts in Saudi Arabia, UAE 

DUBAI: To celebrate the monumental impact of K-Pop on fans around the world, Spotify delved into its listening data for some of the genre’s best-known acts. From BTS to ATEEZ, here are the five most streamed K-Pop groups across Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt. 

BTS 

Formed in 2013, BTS has spearheaded the K-Pop drive into the Middle East with catchy, upbeat music. The seven-member South Korean boy band recently notched up the first No.1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart by a South Korean group with their first all-English language single “Dynamite.” 

Blackpink

It’s not just the boys that are driving the K-Pop obsession. Seoul-based girl group Blackpink, who recently released their first Netflix documentary “BLACKPINK: Light Up The Sky” on Oct. 14, are also experiencing a serious surge in streaming. Their latest release “The Album” became the #1 global album on Spotify during the week of launch. 

Twice

Beside Blackpink, Twice have also established themselves in the region. This is a big month for the nine-member girl group: Oct. 20 marks five years since they hit the scene in 2015, and on Oct. 26 they are releasing their second full-length Korean album “Eyes Wide Open.”

Stray Kids 

The fourth most streamed act in the Middle East is Stray Kids. The group consists of eight male members, who are currently preparing for their Nov. 22 virtual concert on Beyond Live, the online performance platform. Their most famous hits are “Grow Up,” “Voices” and “Side Effects.” 

ATEEZ

ATEEZ is one of the most recent K-Pop acts. Formed in October 2018, the eight-member group has already made it to the region’s top five most streamed K-Pop bands. Not just that, but as of September 2020, the group has released five Korean-language EPs, one full-length album and two Japanese albums.