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The first endeavour of this campaign is in progress .Flickr

NASA has approved the Mars Sample Return (MSR) multi-mission effort to advance to the next phase in preparation to bring the first pristine samples from Mars back to Earth. During this phase, the program will mature critical technologies and make critical design decisions, as well as assess industry partnerships, NASA said on Friday.

The first endeavor of this campaign is in progress as NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, launched in July, is set to land on the Red Planet on February 18, 2021. The car-size rover will search for signs of ancient microbial life.


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Using a coring drill at the end of its robotic arm, Perseverance has the capability to gather samples of Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust), and hermetically seal them in collection tubes. Perseverance can deposit these samples at designated locations on the Martian surface or store them internally.

In the next steps of the MSR campaign, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) will provide respective components for a Sample Retrieval Lander mission and an Earth Return Orbiter mission, with launches planned in the latter half of this decade.

The Sample Retrieval Lander mission will deliver a Sample Fetch Rover and Mars Ascent Vehicle to the surface of Mars. The rover will retrieve the samples and transport them to the lander.


The program will mature critical technologies and make critical design decisions. Flickr

The Perseverance rover also provides a potential capability for the delivery of collection tubes to the lander. A robotic arm on the lander will transfer the samples into a container embedded in the nose of the Mars Ascent Vehicle. Once sealed, the system will prepare for the first launch from another planet.

In Mars orbit, the Earth Return Orbiter will rendezvous with and capture the sealed sample container, and then place the samples in an additional high-reliability containment capsule for return to Earth in the early 2030s.

“Returning samples of Mars to Earth has been a goal of planetary scientists since the early days of the space age, and the successful completion of this MSR key decision point is an important next step in transforming this goal into reality,” Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for Science at NASA Headquarters in Washington, said in a statement.

ALSO READ: Planet Outside The Solar System Behaving Like ‘Planet Nine’

Bringing Mars samples back to Earth will allow scientists across the world to examine the specimens using sophisticated instruments too large and too complex to send to Mars, and will allow future generations to study them using technology not yet available.

Curating the samples on Earth will allow the science community to test new theories and models as they are developed, much as the Apollo reports returned from the Moon have done for decades. The Mars Sample Return campaign also advances NASA’s efforts to send humans to the Red Planet, NASA said. (IANS)


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Samsung Electronics, the world's number two foundry firm behind Taiwan's TSMC, announced in May that it will build a $17 billion fab in the US.

Samsung Electronics will quickly decide on a foundry investment in the US, a senior executive said Tuesday, as the South Korean tech giant seeks to become the world's number one player in the logic chip and foundry sectors. Samsung Electronics, the world's number two foundry firm behind Taiwan's TSMC, announced in May that it will build a $17 billion fab in the US.

Samsung's de facto leader Lee Jae-yong is widely speculated to visit the US, possibly next month, to finalise the site, with the city of Taylor, Texas, emerging as the strongest candidate. Other candidates include Arizona, New York, and Austin, Texas. Kim Ki-nam, Vice Chairman and CEO of Samsung's device solutions division, said it takes time for the company to review all the factors such as "infrastructure, site, personnel and state incentives," and make a final decision.

"We are trying to make a decision as soon as possible," Kim told reporters on the sidelines of the Korea Electronics Show 2021, which is under way at an exhibition center in southern Seoul. He made the comments when asked whether Samsung will make an investment within this year. He did not elaborate, reports Yonhap news agency.

Separately, Kim said the company has been "calmly" preparing answers to a recent request by the US Department of Commerce about its semiconductor business. The US has asked global chipmakers, including Samsung, to share information on inventories and demanded other details by November 8 to "help improve trust and transparency within the supply chain." The request spawned concerns about the leak of chipmakers' major trade secrets. (IANS/ MBI)


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'Vikram Vedha' is a Hindi remake of the runaway Tamil hit of the same name which was released in 2017.

It's been over two years since Hrithik Roshan appeared on celluloid. Fans have been waiting to witness his next performance on the silver screen and it seems like their wishes will be soon granted. Earlier, Hrithik had made an announcement about getting back to shooting schedule for the upcoming film 'Vikram Vedha'. And now, it's learnt that the actor has recently wrapped the first ever action sequence from the film.

The news came out when a few stuntmen from the film's set shared pictures of the sequence wrap. The stunt sequences seem to be quite crazy as suggested by the stuntmen. Talking about the same, a stuntman posted on his instagram as he wrote, "Wrapped up the first action sequence of Vikram Vedha. A big 'Thank you' to @parvez.shaikhh sir for this opportunity. Wouldn't have been possible without you ?? @hrithikroshan."

Another stuntman posted, "First craziest action sequence have done (sic).!! Cheer's To @hrithikroshan @parvez.shaikhh @stuntindia1 and all the stunt boys.!!"

'Vikram Vedha' is a Hindi remake of the runaway Tamil hit of the same name which was released in 2017. While the original action thriller starred R. Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi, the Hindi version will see Hrithik Roshan squaring off against Saif Ali Khan. (IANS/ MBI)


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Japan's former Princess Mako, the elder daughter of Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko, and her husband Kei Komuro, look at each other during a press conference to announce their marriage at a hotel in Tokyo, Japan, Oct. 26, 2021

The niece of Japanese Emperor Naruhito, Princess Mako, married a commoner Tuesday, relinquishing her royal status following a heavily scrutinized, controversial four-year engagement.

The Japanese Imperial Household Agency issued a statement announcing the marriage of Mako to Kei Komuro, both 30 years old.

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