Update: After a few other knowledgeable Redditors chimed into a Reddit thread discussing these accusations, the original poster of the tweet that accused OnePlus posted the following: If you head to this Reddit thread you can see a breakdown that proves that OnePlus doesn’t send information if the user has opted out of usage logging and crash reports. The phone will log SOME stuff locally (which is true of many other smartphone manufacturers), but it is not sent if the “Join User Experience Program” box is unchecked. The blatant accusation that OnePlus “is still sending logs…
An investigation by Quartz has revealed that Android devices send cell tower location data to Google even if the user has disabled location services for apps in their device settings. Read More Mobile – TechCrunch
Now that the United States is officially getting back into space exploration, the Moon now seems to be the focus — or at least the starting point — of a lot of plans involving space travel. The Trump administration has redirected NASA’s priorities to settling on our lunar neighbor before Mars, and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has said the BFR project will be a key factor in creating a lunar base.
To continue the trend, Bigelow Aerospace and the United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced last week they would be collaborating to design an inflatable habitat. The habitat would be launched into space by the end of 2022, and eventually function as a lunar depot. Bigelow Aerospace is designing two B330 expandable modules, while ULA is providing the Vulcan 562 configuration rocket that will carry the module into low Earth orbit. A single B330 is roughly one-third the volume of the International Space Station.
After the Vulcan rocket brings the B330 into low Earth orbit, it will inflate, and Bigelow will outfit it with additional equipment and put it through a series of tests. Once it’s fully up and running, additional launches will be carried out to provide 35 tons of cryogenic propellant to the module. It will then be maneuvered into its final location: low lunar orbit.
“We are excited to work with ULA on this lunar depot project,” said Bigelow Aerospace president Robert Bigelow in a statement. “Our lunar depot plan is a strong complement to other plans intended to eventually put people on Mars. It will provide NASA and America with an exciting and financially practical success opportunity that can be accomplished in the short term. This lunar depot could be deployed easily by 2022 to support the nation’s re-energized plans for returning to the Moon.”
“The Chinese have a very ambitious moon program already in place,” said Pal A. Hvistendahl, ESA’s head of media relations, at the time. “Space has changed since the space race of the ’60s. We recognize that to explore space for peaceful purposes, we do [need] international cooperation.”
It’s been quite some time since humanity saw the Moon as a worthwhile place to venture to. Regardless of who manages to do it first, it’s an exciting time for space travel.
Earlier this month, NASA said it was prepared to shift its focus away from Mars, and toward the Moon, whenever the current administration gave the “go” for logistical launch. Now the organization will have to put their plans into motion, because the present administration just announced a renewed effort to get back to the Moon, and beyond.
In an op-ed published to The Wall Street Journal on October 4, Vice President Mike Pence explained an executive order had been signed to restore the National Space Council, with him as its head.
“On Thursday the council will hold its first meeting in nearly 25 years, and as its chairman, I will deliver a simple message: America will lead in space again,” he said, citing the national space policy’s lack of a coherent vision as the reason the U.S. has been left behind, while countries like China and Russia move forward with their own plans. Pence also explained how desperately the U.S. needs technology of its own in space, to protect its surveillance, communication, and navigation systems from hacking attempts.
But What About Mars?
The ostensible goal is human exploration. However, Pence believes starting with the Moon and establishing a firm presence on Earth’s nearest neighbor, as “a vital strategic goal,” ought to come first. This isn’t the first time the Moon has taken precedence as first step to missions advancing farther into the solar system; in August, former astronaut Chris Hardfield said settling on the Moon should come first, as it would prove we can still get there. The promise is that our travels won’t end there. According to the VP, the U.S. intends to be the first country to send people to Mars. However, the impetus for space expansion seem
“In the years to come, American industry must be the first to maintain a constant commercial human presence in low-Earth orbit, to expand the sphere of the economy beyond this blue marble, ” added Pence.
Within the next few weeks, the administration will form a Users’ Advisory Group comprised of various leaders in the commercial space industry. As its name suggests, it’s largely meant to option the expertise of those whom have been developing new hardware and technology to get people into space, either for learning or commercial purposes.
Indeed, as Pence put it, “Business is leading the way on space technology, and we intend to draw from the bottomless well of innovation to solve the challenges ahead.”
The VP didn’t detail who would be in this group, though SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos are a couple of people that come to mind; Musk just recently detailed new plans to send people to Mars in 2024, while Blue Origin intends to send people into suborbital space starting next year.
It may be some time before we see what the National Space Council comes up with. While NASA has shared its plans for getting to the Moon and Mars, the organization was noticeably absent from the Vice President’s announcement. Critics of NASA’s pattern of incoherent plans to get us to Mars like Dr. Robert Zubrin, former Lockheed Martin Astronautics engineer and president of Pioneer Astronautics, have pointed out that Moonbases and low-Earth orbit missions are designed to diversify mission functions so as to garner funding for under-used or unnecessary departments, rather than actually get us to Mars. If you want to string a rope from A to B, a straight line isn’t best if you’re a rope salesman. Whether NASA’s absence signifies a change in plans or not, the coming years are sure to be the most interesting in U.S. space travel history since the 1960s.
The basic idea behind the BFR is to create a single booster and ship that could replace the company’s Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, and Dragon. This would allow SpaceX to pour all the resources currently split across those three crafts into the one project.
Once completed, the BFR could be used to launch satellites and space telescopes or clean up space debris. It would also be capable of docking with the International Space Station (ISS) for the delivery of cargo. Most excitingly, though, is the BFR’s potential to facilitate the establishment of off-world colonies.
Mission to Mars
The current BFR design is large enough to ferry up to 100 people and plenty of equipment, which Musk believes will be instrumental in creating a base of operations on the Moon. “It’s 2017, I mean, we should have a lunar base by now,” he said during his IAC presentation. “What the hell is going on?”
Musk’s aspirations go well beyond the Moon, though. SpaceX’s goal of heading to Mars as soon as they have the technology to do so is well known, and during last night’s presentation, Musk shared imagery of a fully fledged Martian city.
Construction on SpaceX’s first ship capable of heading to Mars is expected to start within the next nine months, and Musk hopes to send a pair of cargo ships to the planet in 2022, though he admitted that this goal is somewhat “aspirational.”