Author: Ayodele Faiyetole

SpaceX and Its ‘X’ Factor

Photo Credit: SpaceX [Jonathan Hofeller]: ‘Faiyetole’. Just as we set out of the Mountain View’s NASA Ames Research Center 583C Building on July 27 on our way to Los Angeles for a tour visit of SpaceX, three concepts remained imminent on my mind — though Heather Diane Smith had kindly offered me her car for the trip, I could not but think about the sleek, electric-clean energy Tesla S-model and how possibly the road journey from San Francisco to LA could be shortened from 7 hours to 30 minutes as earlier muted in the Hyperloop idea, and of course,...

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The Singularitarian: Exponential Ad Astra!

Photo Credit: Singularity University. I once argued, in an article published in South Africa back in 2005 and entitled, “ISU: Space Education For The Next Generation“, that with the continuous research and advancements in fields such as “nanotechnology, mobile Internet and space technology,” and in other fields such as biotechnology, energy and artificial intelligence that the “world will get smaller.” I further theorized that “cultures will systematically merge” and greater opportunities will be availed to nations around the world to become inclusively international in this emerging “globally smaller world.” Not many places on Earth have this assertion yet it...

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Understanding the Sound of Space

Photo Credit: The Atacama Pathfinder Experiment [ESO/B]. Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post and watch the TEDTalk below. At the outset of my space interest, an aspect I first wanted to explore was that of extraterrestrial intelligence, for quite a few reasons. I in fact tried to get the planetary society’s scholarship when I showed a motivation based on the objectives of the SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). Perhaps, if I had gotten that opportunity and proceeded to working at SETI, I might have been able to better predict —...

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East-west space race or space cooperation?

Photo Credit: Alvexo [News Desk]. According to the 12-year-cycle of the Chinese lunisolar calendar, 2012 is the year of the Dragon. From the perspective of SpaceX, that is indeed the case. The successful launch of its Dragon spacecraft on its Falcon 9 rocket, Dragon’s flawless rendezvous with the ISS, and its safe return back to Earth, are a set of splendid accomplishments that has kept the skeptics silenced, and perhaps made them rethik the future of private human spaceflight. SpaceX’s successful mission has further emboldened the confidence placed on them by NASA. This is exemplified by a recent post-mission...

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Space merchants and planetary mining

Photo Credit: The Space Review [Planetary Resources]. The world’s fossil fuels are in limited reserves and are also in quick depletion. In 2004 Lawrence A. Taylor, director of the U.S. Planetary Geosciences Institute, told the AFP, “Just 25 tonnes of helium, which can be transported on a space shuttle, is enough to provide electricity for the U.S. for one full year,” noting that only 10 kilos of helium 3 are available on Earth. He added, “By 2050 the whole world will have a major problem. We need to be thinking ahead.” Helium 3 is a potential pollution-free nuclear fuel. It...

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