Space Software: Is Nigeria facing danger of extinction? – Chris Uwaje

Space Software: Is Nigeria facing danger of extinction? – Chris Uwaje

 

 

Space software or better still, software-enabled Space exploration has become a matter of life and death. 

 

It governs the success of future world and would continue to do so for a long time. Which language/s would soon be spoken in future space and which ones would be extinct forever? How would future space be governed and what role must Nigeria/Africa play? 

 

In summary, the survivability of nations today and in the future resides in their mastery of Software Engineering and Scientific Research. Indeed, when we speak digital-tech, we are emphasizing Software at predominantly many levels. Therefore, by tactically engaging and mastering Space Software Engineering development; Nigeria and by extension, Africa can strategically avoid the emerging dangers of extinction by not being left out of the space exploration equation. 

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The result of this equation would have an awesome impact that is beyond our collective imagination! As Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos jet to space and safely returned to Planet Earth – what next?

The technology race has accelerated with swift, boundless, commercial, economic and survivability dimensions. And there is no stopping the human quest to conquer space with many hidden agenda; one of which is the acquisition of larger-than-life space colony! Another tale of Chistopher Colombus?

 

Consequently, is history about to repeat itself? Fact is that we currently know extremely little about the history of the emergence of the world we live in today; the Planet Earth and the trajectory of the conquest of space. There are many historical assumptions on how we got where we presently are today. However, one undeniable fact remains: ‘the ingenuity of the human mind is the infinite driving force that got us here’. That is, the scientific mind and research-driven technological exploration of our collective humanity. 

 

Space has always been a place to occupy – either temporarily or in perpetuity! 

And it comes with great price, with mysterious consequences perceived as the development of civilization – often wrapped in evolutionary magic! Mistakes would be made which may further lead us to many fearless unknowns. The earlier and current trajectory of the human zeal in search of the unknown has always been governed by Data as piece of information encountered either consciously or accidentally.

 

These Data sets and information tremendously assisted in the acquisition of lands, nations, and empires. Are we about to witness the colonization of space in bits and pieces, based on the experiences of the past? Who will own what in the colonized parts of space of the future? And how would humanity regulate herself in space? 

 

There are concerns here and there. And Africa should be concerned as well. What would happen to the Earth’s Climate Change intrigue?

Who would own the millions of covertly and many not-to-be-released (yet unseen) space photo clips shot over the years by NASA? The Hubble Telescope was sent up to space back in 1990 to start taking photographs; giving us a glimpse into worlds we have barely heard of, or never knew existed. According to NASA, in the last 25 years, it has delighted us with pictures of nebulas, stars, clusters, eclipses and no end of astrological phenomena. 

 

Meanwhile, it is instructive to note that humans have been living in space for months! Affirmed by NASA, ‘astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko are seven months into a year-long mission on the spacecraft, something never done before. The logic is, if humans ever want to get to Mars, we’re going to have to spend a long time in space. So, why not learn what effects that can have on the human body? 

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While in space, they are expected to develop blurry vision, lose their balance, see a bone density reduction never experienced before; enjoy a melting away of muscle mass and develop an undercooked heart; which has to work far less in space to pump blood around the body.

 

Indeed, back in January, scientists found two planets, potentially as big as Earth; lurking beyond Pluto in our solar system, in a discovery that may be truly revolutionary for astronomy. As the new world in space emerges, great expectations are lurking in the shadows. Lots have been said and written about Jupiter’s moon and others. But nothing has been as sensational as Mars. After much speculation, NASA finally confirmed recently that the Martian surface of Mars does indeed have liquid water running on it, which potentially brings new hope for the discovery of life on the red planet.

 

The import of this writeup is not about life in space (which is already a granted conclusion); but the role of technology in the occupation and ownership of various aspects and parts of Space.

And above all, where/how Nigeria/Africa can engage the race to space; if she should not be left out of the critical live and death game. 

 

With regards to emerging Computing Technologies, the reference here is to Hardware and Software. Space Hardware requires a tremendous degree of hardening techniques to attain adequate balance of hardening engineering for the edge performance of space travels. Hence, robust, efficient, and reliable software solution is required and indeed, mandatory to equalize space travel challenges; since space hardware engineering is a delicate and unpredictably complex assignment. 

 

Space software is a rare asset and tremendously essential to resolve attendant Hardware issues.

For example, well-crafted software can be of tremendous help, when it comes to the determination of hardware component hardening for the durability of space travel. Software achieves this goal through just-in-time data collection from Super-Computers used for space missions. As we are aware, majority of supercomputers and Web servers around the world are powered by Linus Software. 

 

Our world is entering the phase of ‘an extraordinary tech-magical moment’. It would amount to an incredible adventure and a tale left to be told by our great-grand-children’s children and their offspring! The message is that Nigeria/Africa can join the race-to-space competitiveness through the software window of opportunity. This would require a strategic and far-reaching Software Engineering development programme and funding; exclusively focused on space for the survivability of the future of our continent.  Extinction is a vanished but painful story.

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Today, it has become extremely difficult to account for the deaths from colonial slaughters and global wars.  

Difficult estimates inform that there were 4297 million deaths in the 19th Century – which is grossly under-estimated. And as we remember, existing records show that ‘the historical phenomenon of colonization is one that stretches around the globe and across time. 

 

The Portuguese and Spanish empires were the first global empires because they were the first to stretch across different continents, covering vast territories around the globe. Between 1580 and 1640, the two empires were both ruled by the Spanish monarchs in personal union. During the late 16th and 17th centuries; England, France, and the Dutch Republic who also established their own overseas empires, in direct competition with one another. 

 

The Territorial changes of Russia happened by means of military conquest and by ideological and political unions over the centuries. (1533–1914). Many colonies such as Australia, New Zealand, etc, after nearly extinguishing the original dwellers are still occupied and indirectly controlled by the colonialist. The second industrial revolution, in the 19th century, led to what has been termed the era of New Imperialism; when the pace of colonization rapidly accelerated, the height of which was the ferocious Scramble for Africa; involving Belgium, Germany and Italy as core participants. (Wiki, modified).

 

All these imperial acquisitions changed our planet for better for worse; leading into many genocidal world wars and fearful weaponization of technology (A-Bomb, etc). Are future space wars in their embryonic phases?

 

Recently, NASA announced the discovery of an exoplanet ‘that as far as we can tell is a pretty-close cousin of Earth’, said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. ‘It’s the closest so far’.

       

 

Space Software: Is Nigeria facing danger of extinction? By Chris Uwaje
Above is size and scale of the Kepler-452 system compared alongside our solar system. Photo via NASA/JPL-CalTech/R. Hurt

 

 

 

So, how do we escape the danger of future extinction?

 

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Simple: we should start by taming and retooling our environment, attitude, attainment of excellence in national sports, science, technology; while empowering women/our people as we set to conquer the challenges of the battle to Space! The advent of Space exploration has revealed that the way humanity models development, behaviour, life, governance, productivity; as well as resource sharing and development has changed forever. 

 

Alas, “Nations who are missing in the current space action becomes the foot-mat for the pioneers! Are we experiencing phase-2 of the “Wasted Generation”? 

How do we resolve and re-engineer the neglected software dreams of Nigerian Youth? Depending on the angle of the lens of the viewer, technology is the only scaffold to the future. 

 

Usually, the mirror tells many stories at the same time. Some aspects are persuasive, some illusionary, myopic and/or confusing. But all the same, it remains a story of life, reminding us that as we lay our bed, so we sleep on it. We need to constitute a Space Software Think Tank (SSTT) now. Africa can and must escape the inevitable future trauma emerging to haunt unprepared nations. 

 

 

Let us ‘Software the nation’ now and escape the looming danger of future extinction of unprepared nations and/or continents!                                                          

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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