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by Ryan Whitwam

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NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has completed the most critical phase of its mission: booping an asteroid. The probe has been orbiting the asteroid Bennu for almost two years, but yesterday it descended to the surface to scoop up a few grams of precious primordial material for eventual return to Earth.

According to the NASA team, the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft fired its thrusters at 1:50PM EDT to drop out of orbit. As it floated toward the unexpectedly craggy surface on its pre-programmed maneuver, the robot extended its sampling arm. …


by Joel Hruska

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SK Hynix has announced it will acquire Intel’s NAND memory business for $9B, including Intel’s NAND SSD foundry, its component and wafer business, and the manufacturing facility Intel built in Dalian, China. The announcement specifically states that Intel will retain its Optane business.

Not the Fastest Timeline

The two companies envision a protracted sale process. SK Hynix and Intel hope to have regulator approval for the merger by late 2021. …


by Ryan Whitwam

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NASA’s InSight Lander made history when it became the first mission to take seismic readings on another planet, but the lander’s other major experiment hasn’t been as successful. The mission’s burrowing heat probe, sometimes called the “Mole,” has struggled to even make it underground, but NASA has finally reported success getting it to stay there. The instrument managed to drag itself below the surface and is no longer visible. We don’t yet know if it will work as intended, but this is a big step in the right direction.

After landing on the red planet, InSight sent back images of its surroundings. NASA engineers built a replica of the landing zone to carefully plan the instrument deployment. The Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) was placed on the surface several months later, and it has since sent back a plethora of data on the planet’s internal structure. The Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) was supposed to hammer itself into the ground, relying on the friction of soil to help it along. However, the Mole encountered issues almost immediately. …

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