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Scientists Tell Us Space Travel Is Really Possible

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Scientists Tell Us Space Travel Is Really Possible

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been enamored by space travel. I think I read everything I could about the Apollo missions. Unfortunately, since the 1960s, we’ve really scaled back on our space programs due to the cost.

While the space shuttle era was fun, it really brought nothing to the table for those of us interested in real space exploration, the kind not seen since the skyscraper sized Saturn V rocket’s last missions to the moon.

Thankfully, this might be changing soon. Scientists both in China and the United States have recently been doing research on a type of propulsion system that essentially breaks Newtonian laws of physics.

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How does the engine work? I don’t want to get in-depth as I am not a rocket scientist myself, but essentially, what this engine does is use microwaves to create thrust without the need for fuel.

This engine is known as the “EmDrive,” and though it has been tested both in America and China, many scientists dispute its efficacy due to the aforementioned fact that it breaks Newtonian physics.

There’s no timetable as to when or even if this technology will be applied to spacecrafts, though it is encouraging that NASA recently released a statement acknowledging that the EmDrive works, though they didn’t do much in the way of explaining the physics of it.

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Since this technology is still in the testing phases, and hasn’t even been accepted by an a large number of skeptical scientists, I doubt we’ll see its use in the mainstream for at least another decade or so.

Still, if this technology continues to be developed, we have a lot to look forward to in regard to space travel and exploration. Indeed, one of the biggest problems for space travel currently is the cost of fuel, as it’s one of the major inhibiting factors preventing NASA and other space agencies from launching more missions.

Once you’re in space, there’s no gravity, and thus you only need to expend fuel in certain specific circumstances, like when changing direction. Those huge fuel tanks you saw on the space shuttles are mainly there to get the vehicle into space.

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Now, imagine if we could get satellites and other vessels out of our atmosphere without the need for fuel? That alone makes space exploration infinitely more feasible, as not only will agencies like NASA be able to send more things into space, they’ll be able to do so on a far lower budget.

If we ever develop something like the EmDrive, getting into space and maneuvering about will no longer be an issue. What’s the next thing to worry about then? Oxygen.

As you know, there’s no oxygen in the vacuum of space, and besides fuel, one of the current limiting factors of space travel is that you can only go as far as your oxygen tanks will take you.

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What’s the solution? According to scientist Julian Melchiorri, it’s artificial leaves. Or, more specifically, man-made leaves that convert carbon dioxide into oxygen without all of the soil, sun, water, and gravity that plants usually rely on.

These leaves could theoretically be used as building materials for certain things, like walls on the interior of a spacecraft, for instance. Instead of limited oxygen tanks filtering in an ever-decreasing amount of air, the very walls around you would be constantly recycling the carbon dioxide you’re exhaling, turning it into fresh oxygen for you to breath.

Pretty neat stuff if you ask me.

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Though NASA and other space agencies have hit a bit of a rut recently, new technologies like the EmDrive and the artificial leaf might just be the breakthroughs we need to get things rolling again.

Featured photo credit: Space Shuttle/ Official U.S. Navy Page via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 25, 2021

How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

    What Does Private Browsing Do?

    When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

    For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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    The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

    The Terminal Archive

    While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

    Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

    dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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    Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

    Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

    However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

    Clearing Your Tracks

    Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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    dscacheutil -flushcache

    As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

    Other Browsers and Private Browsing

    Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

    If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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    As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

    Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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