“Touch-And-Go”: OSIRIS-REx is set to land on an asteroid and collect material in October

The spacecraft will carry out the collection attempt autonomously due to communication delays. If successful, the collection could be the largest sample recovery in decades, according to NASA.

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An artist’s rendering depicting OSIRIS-REx above Bennu.

Image: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft has been tasked with traveling billions of kilometers to an asteroid, collect a sample of its surface, and return the material back to Earth.

Last week, NASA announced the “countdown” to the craft’s upcoming asteroid “Touch-And-Go” (TAG). OSIRIS-REx is scheduled to attempt its first TAG on Oct. 20. If successful, the attempt could yield the largest space material since the Apollo era, according to NASA.

In September 2016, the OSIRIS-REx Mission launched aboard an Atlas V 411 rocket en route to its asteroid target, Bennu. After more than two Earth years in transit, OSIRIS-Rex arrived at Bennu in December of

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Google to Collect 30% Cut on In-App Purchases Starting in 2021

Taking a page out of Apple’s  (AAPL) – Get Report book, Google will begin more strictly enforcing rules that require developers to use Google’s  (GOOGL) – Get Report payment system for in-app purchases. 

Google announced the change on its Android developer blog on Monday, describing it as a clarification of Google’s existing rules on in-app purchases. Google had an existing policy requiring developers to use Google’s billing system, but the policy had been loosely enforced. 

“We’ve always required developers who distribute their apps on Play to use Google Play’s billing system if they offer in-app purchases of digital goods, and pay a service fee from a percentage of the purchase,” wrote Sameer Samat, VP of product management at Android. “We only collect a service fee if the developer charges users to download their app or they sell in-app digital items, and we think that is fair.

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Apple won’t collect fees on paid Facebook events until 2021

Now, Apple has agreed to let Facebook Pay process all paid online event purchases. This means Facebook can absorb the cost, and Apple won’t get a cut. But this agreement only lasts until December 31st.

“Apple has agreed to provide a brief, three-month respite after which struggling businesses will have to, yet again, pay Apple the full 30 percent App Store tax,” a Facebook spokesperson said. Facebook will not collect fees until August 2021.

The other big catch is that Facebook Gaming creators are left out of the deal. They’ll still have to hand over 30 percent of earnings that come through the iOS app.

“Apple’s decision to not collect its 30 percent tax on paid online events comes with a catch: gaming creators are excluded from using Facebook Pay in paid online events on iOS,” said Vivek Sharma, VP of Facebook Gaming. “We unfortunately had to make this concession

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Taiwan plant hunters race to collect rare species before they’re gone

By Ann Wang

TAITUNG, Taiwan (Reuters) – In the forests and on remote offshore islands of Taiwan, a group of conservationists are racing to collect as many rare plant species as they can before they are lost to climate change and human encroachment.

Overseen by the Dr. Cecilia Koo Botanic Conservation Centre, the plant hunters are scouring sub-tropical Taiwan for as many rare plant samples as they can find, from the rugged eastern coast around Taitung to Dongyin, in the Matsu archipelago.

“I started collecting plants when I was still at school. I didn’t used to think it was that important. But since I began working at the conservation centre, I have realised that many (living) things that used to be there, are there no longer,” said Hung Hsin-chieh, a research assistant at the conservation centre.

“So for many things, if you don’t conserve them properly then perhaps in the

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