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SpaceX Rocket Lands on Floating Drone Ship

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Elon Musk

It was a scene straight from a science fiction movie. A white, pencil-shaped rocket angling down through a hazy-blue sky, then gracefully touching down, amid billowing smoke. All on an automated drone-ship in choppy Atlantic seas. In that moment, Elon Musk reached a new milestone in his bid to dominate commercial space and, one day, send humans to Mars.

What a week for Musk. Days after the triumphant unveiling of Tesla’s latest electric car, SpaceX won over the Internet as countless thousands tuned in to watch the Falcon 9 rocket launch and, roughly eight minutes later, its spectacular first-ever landing at sea. At the company’s mission control center in Hawthorne, California, a throng of employees exploded in cheers. President Barack Obama and Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who walked on the Moon nearly half-a-century ago, were among the first to send shout-outs from around the world.

With his characteristic bravado, Musk soon chimed in: “Tickets to orbital hotels, the moon and Mars will be a lot less than people think,” he wrote on Twitter.

 If that sounds over the top, few could deny the symbolic importance of the moment that heralded a new era of affordable, reusable rockets even as it brought back the enthusiasm and drama of the Moon shots and early space shuttle days from a generation ago.

Brash Upstart

“This is the dramatic visual of the new space age,” said Marco Caceres, senior analyst at consultant Teal Group in Fairfax, Virginia. “NASA has been trying to recreate the excitement of the Apollo era. Elon Musk just did it.”

Long considered a brash upstart nipping at the heels of staid aerospace giants, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is coming of age 14 years after it was founded by Musk with the lofty– and many have said unrealistic– goal of revolutionizing spacecraft and colonizing Mars. Trips to the Red Planet aside, SpaceX is now within striking distance of becoming dominant in the payload business. It’s planning to fly 18 missions this year, triple the number in 2015.

That’s a highly ambitious goal in an industry known for delays and mishaps. And Friday’s launch– a supply run to the International Space Station — was only the third so far this year. Yet if SpaceX hits its target, it will fling more rockets into space than any of its competitors from the U.S., France, Russia and China and achieve a launch cadence not seen since the end of the Cold War.

Drone Landing

The rocket booster that landed on the drone ship Friday will be brought to port and tested on land; if everything checks out, it could fly again as early as June. By the second half of this year, Musk expects SpaceX to launch–and recover–rockets every two to three weeks.

“We’ll be successful, ironically, when it becomes boring,” said Musk at a news conference with NASA Friday. “When it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, another landing, OK, no news there.”’

That will be a bad day for competitors like Europe’s Arianespace, which flies the Ariane 5, and United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. They are scrambling to match SpaceX’s lower costs and fast-paced Silicon Valley vibe. Reusable rockets, once scoffed at by the established players as a pipe-dream, are now on the top of everyone’s agenda.

Launch Costs

The cost of a Falcon 9 launch is $61.2 million, according to the company’s website. Established launch companies won’t be able to match SpaceX’s launch costs for years. The price tag for launching a ULA Atlas V rocket, which is not reusable, was $184 million two years ago. ULA has succeeded in getting that price down so far by a third, but it won’t fall below $100 million until 2019 at the earliest.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which ended its 30-year space shuttle program in 2011, now partners with private industry to fly both cargo and crew. SpaceX’s Dragon capsule, loaded with 7,000 pounds of cargo, supplies and an inflatable extension module, reached the space station orbiting over Algeria on Sunday morning, New York time. Dragon is scheduled to return to Earth and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean May 11.

Government agencies like NASA are just one of three markets for launch providers like SpaceX. Satellite companies depend on rockets to get their communications equipment into orbit. And the $70 billion national defense market, which includes highly sensitive missions for the military, is another. SpaceX has bid on a contract to launch GPS satellites for the U.S. Air Force.

Tight Loop

SpaceX also has an advantage by playing outside the old aerospace procurement system which relies on multiple contractors and subcontractors. Legacy aerospace companies have long supply chains with embedded testing, documentation and procurement procedures that inflate costs. SpaceX builds not only the Falcon 9 rocket but the rocket’s Merlin engines in-house. The tight loop between design, manufacturing, and prototype testing is a Silicon Valley approach, said consulting firm Alix Partners in a recent report.

“The fact that SpaceX makes its engines itself is a really big deal,” said David Wireman, an aerospace analyst with Alix Partners. “The engines are a big chunk of the cost of any rocket. SpaceX has broken the supply chain.”

At industry conferences largely populated by middle-aged men in gray suits, you can spot the SpaceX employees, in part, by the logos on their jackets and by their youthful look. SpaceX has roughly 5,000 employees; their average engineer is 32.

SES of Luxembourg first flew with SpaceX in 2013 and has contracted for another four launches through 2017. Like other satellite customers, SES was drawn to SpaceX’s vision, lower cost and fast-paced culture.

“The fundamental difference that SpaceX has is that they are on a mission, and the mission is to go to Mars,” said Martin Halliwell, SES’s chief technical officer, in an interview. “That is absolutely unique within the industry. It’s a true passion felt by Elon and every single person in the company.”

Bloomberg

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Xiaomi Launches Black Friday Sale With Discounts and Extra Gifts on Smartphones

Xiaomi gives discount of N5,000 on every purchase of its smartphone

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Xiaomi - Investorsking

Mobile phone maker, Xiaomi has lined up good discounts and extra gifts to thrill its customers during black Friday sales.

The company which is also into consumer electronics noted that it’s back Friday sale will run between November 18th to November 30th, 2022. 

Apart from a flat discount of N5,000 on every purchase of its smartphone, customers can also win amazing gift prizes which include refrigerators, Xiaomi luggage, Redmi Bud 3 earbuds. 

A star winner who will go home with an N3 million cash prize will also emerge through a raffle draw on January 10th, 2023. 

Investors King understands that Black Friday is an opportunity to buy the product you desire either smartphones, groceries, or any type of electronic at a very good price. It is celebrated virtually around the world. 

Black Friday which followed “thanksgiven day” in the United States is largely regarded as a day or season to say thank you for being with us this far. 

While amazing discounts are being offered on several products, a number of top brands especially electronic and smartphone-making companies do use black Friday to say thank you to their customers. 

Some of the platforms where you can get an amazing offer in Nigeria during this black Friday season include Jumia and Konga.

You can check the filing articles for amazing offers that both Jumia and Konga offer during this year’s black Friday. 

For Jumia click here and for Konga here you.

On Xiaomi’s black Friday for instance, when a customer buys Redmi Note 11 or Redmi Note 11S, he will get a discount of N5,000 and Xiaomi in-ear headphones. Similarly, Redmi Note 11 Pro or Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G comes with a 10000mAh power bank.

Interestingly, Xiaomi noted in a statement that the offer is open to all new and old customers while customers can enjoy the amazing offer by visiting any of Xiaomi’s retail stores nationwide or at Essence House, Computer Village Ikeja. 

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Konga Kickstarts Black Friday “Yakata” With 90% Discounts on Rice, Cooking Oil, and Mobile Phones

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Konga

E-Commerce giant, Konga has begun its discounted sale with up to 90 percent off on some house need products which include rice and cooking oil. The sale which is already witnessing a high volume of patronage is tagged “Friday Yakata”

Other products available for grabs at a very good price on the Konga platform include mobile phones of different brands, Laptops, TV sets, Refrigerators, Air conditioners, and Washing machines. 

At exactly 12 midnight every day till 12th of December, Konga will stage one of its much anticipated events, “Teasure Hunt”. Investors King learnt.

Treasure Hunt gives lucky buyers the opportunity to purchase products with up to 90 percent off them. 

Other lined-up events for Friday “Yakata” include Flash Sale and Cyber Monday. 

Additionally, Konga also partners with MedDirect to provide a 10 percent discount on all medicine which will be delivered free to anywhere in Nigeria.

Another way to benefit from the “Yakata” season is to use Konga Pay which comes with a 5 percent discount on any shopping basket above N100,000.

A statement released by the e-commerce platform noted that back Friday “Yakata” is regarded as the biggest sale of the year in the annual shopping calendar in Nigeria. 

According to the company’s head of marketing, Anthony Nwabuisi, Konga has seen improved patronage on its platform since the beginning of this year despite the prevailing economic challenges both in the domestic and international markets. 

‘‘It has been an impressive start to this year’s edition of Konga Yakata for us. Despite the undeniably harsh economic conditions, general buying sentiments are way above expectations,” he said. 

Also speaking on the importance of the Konga Friday Yakata, Nwabuisi stated that Konga has a 50 percent discount on virtually all meals ordered on the platform. 

He added that shoppers can also get the advantage of free delivery or buy-one-get-one-free in select restaurants. 

Conclusively, Konga’s platform can easily be used by downloading the application or navigating through the website at Konga.com. 

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Zenith Bank Splashes N53m on Finalists at Zenith Tech Fair 2.0

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Zenith Bank Hackathon

A total sum of N53 million in prize money was won at the end of a keenly contested hackathon session at the Second Edition of the Zenith Tech Fair, themed “Future Forward 2.0”, which was held on Wednesday, November 23, 2022, at the Eko Convention Centre, Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The prize money was shared among eleven finalists who emerged from the over 500 contestants that took part in the hackathon, with Ecotutu, a cleantech company making cooling affordable and accessible for businesses, especially in the agricultural sector, emerging as the overall winner and taking home the grand prize of N20 million. This is in addition to a mentorship programme with Seedstars, a company dedicated to implementing high-quality capacity-building programmes for entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

The first runner-up, Foris Labs, an app-based platform that allows students to conduct science experiments individually and in groups interactively via their mobile phones, won N15 million and a mentorship programme with Seedstars, while the second runner-up, Finva, a start-up which helps creditors offer credits at low risk, won N10 million as well as a mentorship programme with Seedstars. Other finalists who took home N1million each include Sanwo, Itinu -Ev, Eduvacity, Green Bii, Zion Robotics, Sono Care, Base, and I grow Africa.

Speaking during the presentation of the prize monies, the Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, congratulated all the finalists for coming this far in the competition. He reiterated the bank’s readiness to provide all that is necessary to make the budding entrepreneurs succeed. According to him, “all finalists would be enlisted into our incubation lab for grooming and mentorship. Our expectation is that we are going to scale and grow them just like the zenith brand. So, looking at what we have gone through, I can tell you that so much iron has been loaded on fire. The only thing left is to activate the digital talents, tech skills and entrepreneurship that would culminate in a new digital economy for Nigeria”.

Described as a huge success by participants, the two-day Tech Fair featured presentations on the leading technological innovations that cut across different aspects of life, such as Artificial Intelligence, Computing, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Robotics, Big Data, FinTech, Augmented Reality, Data Analytics, 5G and Communication Technologies, with the keynote address, “The Future of Banking: Digital Transformation Journey”, delivered by Brett King, the renowned futurist, bestselling author, award-winning speaker, Founder of Moven and Author of Bank 4.0.

The event also featured a goodwill message by Jim Ovia, CFR, Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank and opening remarks by Ebenezer Onyeagwu, Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc and Chairman of Body of Banks’ CEOs, Nigeria. Other eminent IT practitioners from top global brands who also made presentations include; Tarik Alatovic, Senior Partner, McKinsey; Juliet Ehimuan, West Africa Director, Google; Ola Williams, Country Manager, Microsoft Inc.; Andrew Uaboi, Vice President/Head, Visa West Africa; Mrs Rakiya Mohammed, Director of Information Technology, CBN; Chris Lu, Managing Director, Huawei Technologies Nigeria, and Dame (Dr.) Adaora Umeoji, OON, Deputy Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc, amongst others.

The fair featured three panel sessions. The first panel, which examined “The future of payments: what next and how can we get there”, had Prof. Yinka David West of Lagos Business School as the host, with four discussants, including Agada Apochi, Managing Director, UPSL; Olu Akanmu, Managing Director, Opay; Premier Oiwoh, Managing Director, NIBBS; and Kari Tukur, V/P & Head of Products East/West Africa, MasterCard.

The second panel explored the theme “What are the main challenges of digital transformation in the financial industry? How do we solve them?”. It was hosted by Brett King and had four discussants, including Tosin Eniolorunda, Managing Director, TeamApt; Obi Emetarom, Managing Director, Appzone; Dr. Babatunde Obrimah, COO, FintechNGR; and Olugbenga Agboola, Founder/CEO, Flutterwave.

The third panel discussion, titled “Driving the global trade revolution with technology: current transformation trends”, was hosted by Samuel Eze, Founder/CEO, Ourpass, and had five discussants, including Mike Ogbalu III, Managing Director, PAPSS; Akeem Lawal, Divisional CEO, Interswitch; Massimiliano Spalazzi, Country Manager, Jumia; and Dr. Ozoemena Nnaji, Director of Trade & Exchange, CBN.

 

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