On October 26, Saudi Arabia made history by becoming the first country in the world to grant citizenship to a non-human. The stunning announcement came shortly after Sophia, a humanoid robot, had completed a live interview at the Future Investment Initiative held in the capital city of Riyadh from October 24 to 26. The three-day summit was organized by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia to connect the world’s most powerful investors, thought leaders, and public officials to future innovations.
The Audrey Hepburn look-alike android graciously accepted the recognition saying, “I am very honored and proud for this unique distinction. This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship.” Though details on what the citizenship will mean for Sophia are sparse, the news did make headlines around the world.
Many kids dream of venturing into space to search for new planets or to conduct cutting-edge research on the International Space Station (ISS). In August 2017, twelve eager men and women came one step closer to realizing their lifelong ambition when they reported to the Johnston Space Center in Houston to begin two years of grueling training. If they succeed, they will be NASA’s biggest graduating class of astronauts since 2000.
The seven men and five women were selected from a record 18,300 applications received by the space agency, since it announced it was seeking more astronauts in December 2015. To be considered for the position, candidates had to have a bachelor’s degree in science, technology, engineering or a mathematics-related field. They were also required to be in good health and between 5’2 and 6’3 tall. Also essential were superior “leadership, teamwork, and communications skills.” According to NASA, the twelve trainees, selected after two rounds of interviews — one lasting three days and the second, an entire week — are a diverse group with various careers and backgrounds.