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Perseverance gets its robotic hand on a sample that’s out of this world

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Earth receives its first piece of mars after NASA’s rover successfully drills a hole into brief-case-sized rock “Rochette”.

This sample tube contains a piece of rock from planet Mars

NASA’s Perseverance Rover gets its first taste of mars, after collecting a sample of Martian rock from the core of Jezero Crater yesterday.

The sample which is slightly thicker than a pencil was detected after controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California received data from the space-age device.

Now enclosed in a titanium sample tube, NASA is working with the European Space Agency to return the sample back to earth for further studies in what will be a world first.

Bill Nelson, NASA Administrator says the discovery comes as a win for the agency.

“NASA has a history of setting ambitious goals and then accomplishing them, reflecting our nation’s commitment to discovery and innovation,” Nelson says.

“This is a momentous achievement and I can’t wait to see the incredible discoveries produced by Perseverance and our team.”

Breaking down the process

The process to obtain the sample is nothing short of out of this world.

The Martian rock was obtained after Perseverance’s robotic arm drilled into “brief-case-sized rock” coined “Rochette”, with mission controllers watching the process through a camera.

A series of photos were also taken before the sample was safely tucked away in the rover’s cargo.

Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA Headquarters in Washington, says this moment is truly historic for NASA.

“Just as the Apollo Moon missions demonstrated the enduring scientific value of returning samples…we will be doing the same with the samples Perseverance collects as part of our Mars Sample Return program,” Zurbuchen says.

“Using the most sophisticated science instruments on Earth, we expect jaw-dropping discoveries across a broad set of science areas, including exploration into the question of whether life once existed on Mars.”

Perseverance’s key mission is to study astrobiology on mars, particularly looking for signs of life.

The planet’s climate, geology and past climate will also be assessed as NASA paves the way for human exploration on the Red Planet.

For further updates

NASA will hold a virtual meeting addressing the media on Friday to provide an update on the rover’s process and sampling procedures.

The event will be livestreamed on NASA Television, the NASA app, the agency’s website, and multiple agency social media platforms.

Written by Rebecca Borg

Business

TikTok’s parent company loses $7bn

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TikTok’s Parent company sees losses grow as it tries to outplay Facebook, Instagram and YouTube

TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, has experienced a loss of more than $7 billion dollars in operating costs, tripling last year’s records.

The company attributes the huge loss to its massive investment in global growth. It detailed the results in a financial report which was provided to internal stakeholders.

In the first quarter of 2022, the company recorded a profit in its operating costs, with the company’s revenue expanding by more than 80% to $61.7 billion in 2021.

But expenses that are focused on expanding its products worldwide continue to swell at a rapid rate.

While TikTok is one of ByteDance’s most successful and well-known products, the company owns a wide range of digital platforms including: Douyin, Toutiao, Vigo Video, Helo, Lark and BytePlus. In total, it attracts hundreds of millions of users in China alone and 1 billion TikTok users worldwide.

The internal report was emailed to all ByteDance’s 130,000 employees. In a note of assurance, company execs “remain confident in the strength of our business and organisation.”

The ability for ByteDance to continue to invest in the company’s growth is clearly a strong advantage the company has over its competitors in the market.

A new report found Australians spent more time on TikTok in the last 12 months than on Facebook, a leader for many years in the space.

With other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube scrambling to compete with TikTok, it seems ByteDance must have a long-term expansion strategy in mind.

The company is evidently trying to arrive at a place where such massive losses relating to operating will be a distant memory.

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Australian government will temporarily change telco laws amid Optus data breach

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Australians impacted by the Optus data breach are set to be given greater protection as authorities scramble to protect the personal information that was leaked online

Today, the Australian federal government has announced it will temporarily change the country’s telecommunication laws, paving the way for Optus to share sensitive data.

The move will see the divers licenses, alongside Medicare and passport numbers of impacted customers provided to financial institutions.

Allowing enhanced monitoring for those who were compromised in the cyberattack.

Optus will be working hand-in-hand with banks to monitor fraudulent activity, hopefully avoiding any breaches.

The government says all of the personal information must be immediately destroyed once it is no longer deemed necessary.

When announcing the changes, Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said financial institutions have been proactive throughout this process – but elements of the Optus response have previously been criticised.

The breach affected nearly 10 million customers and former customers, sending the country into a panic.

Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers says this latest move is designed to help keep impacted residents safe from cyber crime.

This unprecedented move now sits with the Governor General who is required to give final approval.

Australians are told the regulations will remain in place for a period of 12 months.

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Another twist in the Musk and Twitter deal

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The trial between Twitter and Elon Musk is still set to go ahead

The trial between Twitter and Elon Musk is set to go ahead, in a strange series of events. This comes despite Musk’s recent change of heart over the deal to buy the social media platform

Delaware Court judge Kathaleen McCormick says neither party has applied for a “stay” in the action. Now, proceedings are still due to begin on October 17.

This comes a day Musk performed a U-turn, deciding to go ahead with the multi-billion dollar deal to buy the social media giant.

Musk’s lawyer says his client has “reconsidered his position” and is now “committed to completing the transaction.”

The transaction values Twitter at $54.20 per share, bringing the total sale price to around 44 billion.

The trial was scheduled to run over five days with Twitter arguing the Tesla CEO should be required to complete the transaction.

Musk launched a counterclaim, alleging the company suffered a substantial reduction in its value, rendering the deal invalid.

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