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The Morning After: NASA finally shows what's inside its Bennu asteroid container

Surprise! Rocks and dust.

NASA/Erika Blumenfeld/Joseph Aebersold

In a very relatable moment, NASA struggled for three months to get the lid off its asteroid sample container, having sent it into deep(ish) space and back. Same, NASA, same: I’ve struggled with jars of pickles.

The space agency was finally able to get into the asteroid Bennu sample container last week and published a high-resolution image of its Touch-and-Go-Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) on Friday, revealing a delightful array of dust and rocks, scraped off Bennu by spacecraft OSIRIS-REx.

The TAGSAM lives in a special glove compartment to prevent the sample from being contaminated, and only certain tools are approved for use with it. The team eventually had to develop new tools to open the fasteners. Tapping it on the side of the kitchen counter did not work.

— Mat Smith

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Apple Vision Pro pre-orders are now open

The mixed-reality headset will start shipping on February 2.

Two Vision Pro headsets
Two Vision Pro headsets (Engadget)

Apple’s Vision Pro is now available for pre-order in US stores and the company’s website. You might like to know you’ll have to scan your face with an iPhone or iPad using Face ID when you pre-order to make sure you’re getting a precise band fit. Prices start at $3,499 for the 256GB version — but you may want more storage. It’ll cost $3,699 with 512GB of storage and $3,899 with 1TB. If you have more money to burn, the travel case, additional battery packs and extra light seals will each run you $199. And if you’re feeling like you want some late-80s/early-90s accessories, you can clip the device to your pants with Belkin’s battery holder. Cool.

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NVIDIA RTX 4070 Super review

A 1,440p gaming powerhouse for $599.

Geforce RTX card inside a PC.
Geforce RTX card inside a PC. (Engadget)

What makes NVIDIA’s RTX 4070 Super special? Raw power, basically. It features 7,168 CUDA cores, compared to 5,888 on the base RTX 4070 and 7,680 on the RTX 4070 Ti. Its base clock speed is a bit higher than before too. Together with the power of DLSS3 upscaling, the 4070 Super is a far more capable 4K gaming card.

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Russian state-sponsored hackers accessed the emails of Microsoft’s senior leadership

It’s the same hacking group behind the SolarWinds cyberattack.

Microsoft said a hacking group linked to a Russian intelligence agency accessed the emails of several of its senior executives and other employees. It said a hacking group known as Midnight Blizzard or Nobelium is responsible — the same group behind the 2020 SolarWinds cyberattack. Microsoft and US cybersecurity officials have said Nobelium is part of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).

The hackers accessed a small percentage of Microsoft’s corporate email accounts, including members of its senior leadership and employees in cybersecurity and legal teams.

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