NASA is going back to the moon with plans for a space station to be built within 10 years, and they're tapping into private businesses to make it happen.
The announcement on future moon flights came just three days after NASA successfully landed its InSight spacecraft on Mars.
NASA has announced that it will be private companies that will make America’s next moon landing.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Thursday that nine American companies will compete to carry experiments to the surface of the moon.
The space agency said in a statement the goal is to bring many science and technology experiments to the moon as soon as possible. The first such flight could come as early as next year.
In 2019, NASA and people across the United States will mark the 50th anniversary of the first manned landing on the moon. The last time humans visited the moon was in 1972, during NASA’s Apollo 17 mission.
NASA officials say the goal of the planned spaceflight is to transport equipment for performing experiments and collecting information about the moon. Some of the companies are expected to develop small launch vehicles or robotic rovers to explore its surface.
The research is meant to help get astronauts back to the moon more quickly and keep them safer once they arrive.
The space agency says it will award a total of $2.6 billion to private businesses for the moon effort over the next 10 years. Bridenstine said that NASA wants a lot of companies involved to strengthen competition. He also said he expects to have people regularly working on the moon within 10 years.
The new partnership is modeled after another NASA program that uses private companies to transport supplies to the International Space Station, or ISS. SpaceX and Northrop Grumman have made ISS shipments since 2012. SpaceX and Boeing are planning to start transporting astronauts to the space station sometime next year.
NASA has said it expects work on a new space station laboratory to start as soon as 2022. The new space station would orbit the moon. But it is also expected to serve as a launching point for missions to other parts of the solar system, including the planet Mars.
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Microsoft has announced that it is enabling users to log into their Microsoft accounts without usernames and passwords.
Instead of passwords – which the tech behemoth has previously described as “inconvenient, insecure, and expensive” – Windows 10 users can switch to physical security keys or biometrics-based Windows Hello for authentication.
Microsoft’s announcement says, “This combination of ease of use, security and broad industry support is going to be transformational. Every month, more than 800 million people use a Microsoft account to create, connect, and share from anywhere to Outlook, Office, OneDrive, Bing, Skype and Xbox Live for work and play. And now they can all benefit from this simple user experience and greatly improved security.”
Beyond the security key, there are also the options to verify users with Windows Hello’s facial, iris or fingerprint recognition, as well as with the help of the Microsoft Authenticator app for Android and iOS.
Don’t rush to forget your Windows password just yet, however. There may be a few things to do – or even buy – before you can possibly consign your password to history and use biometrics or PIN to access services such as Outlook, Office, Skype, OneDrive, and Xbox Live.
The new authentication option will work only on the company’s Edge browser, which began to support the WebAuthn password-free login standard earlier this year. You also need the latest Windows 10 version (version 1809, also known as the October 2018 update).
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Microsoft's own Surface Book 2 is afflicted by Blue Screen Of Death errors following the most recent software updates.
If you’re running a Surface Book 2, you might want to hold off on the latest cumulative update that is making owners irate.
The Blue Screen of Death first began occurring on the devices shortly after the update, KB4467682, was pushed out during last Tuesday's updates. This update is for users of the 1803 build of Windows 10, also known as the April 2018 Update. It contains several fixes as well as introducing some issues relating to the seek bar in Windows Media Player and some .NET problems.
Add to that list: Bricks your Surface Book 2 to the point you have to reinstall Windows.
It isn’t a good thing for Microsoft’s flagship laptop, especially this close to Christmas. With a high price-tag, users right expect that Microsoft's own device should showcase the very best of how Windows should be.
While the patch can be uninstalled, because it blue screens so quickly, some users have had to resort to reinstalling the operating system from scratch.
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Nintendo has relaxed its rules for video-makers who share their gameplay on websites such as Twitch and YouTube.
Unlike Microsoft and Sony, Nintendo had restricted what it let video-makers share online and took a slice of advertising revenue from YouTubers.
Its new guidelines lift most of the restrictions and no longer ask gaming vloggers to register for Nintendo's revenue-sharing scheme.
Nintendo said it was "humbled" by its fans' loyalty.
Many video-makers had complained about Nintendo's policy and avoided sharing gameplay videos online, because the company often filed copyright claims on the content.
The company said in a statement, "As long as you follow some basic rules, we will not object to your use of gameplay footage and/or screenshots captured from games for which Nintendo owns the copyright."
Key points in the new guidelines say 1) gamers will be able to share videos playing Nintendo's software, as long as they include their own creative input or commentary, 2) video-makers will be allowed to earn advertising revenue from their videos using approved schemes including YouTube's Partner Program and the Twitch Partner Program, and 3) uploading raw gameplay videos without any commentary will not be allowed, except for sharing short screen captures using the built-in tools on the Nintendo Switch.
The changes were announced shortly before the release of Super Smash Bros Ultimate this Friday, which is expected to be a popular title for online streamers.
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