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Space officials have set a date of 2018 for launching an unmanned international mission designed to return samples of Martian rock and soil to Earth. The report's authors said that, regardless of the start date, it would take five years for the precious 500g sample to be returned to Earth, and the world's major space powers had to pool resources to achieve the extraordinary goal.

2008-07-10

 Mars sample probe
It weighs almost a tonne, has cost more than $2bn and, in 2013, it will be lowered on to the surface of Mars with a landing system that has never been tried before.

2010-02-17

 NASA Mars rover sample
The spacecraft is returning home from its 2005 visit to the asteroid Itokawa.

2010-06-07

 asteroid Japan probe sample
A capsule thought to contain the first samples grabbed from the surface of an asteroid has returned to Earth.

2010-06-13

 asteroid Japan sample astronomy Solar system
A canister recovered from the first spacecraft to land on an asteroid and return to Earth, contains dust particles, say Japanese scientists.

2010-07-06

 asteroid sample dust
A canister recovered from the first spacecraft to land on an asteroid and return to Earth, contains dust particles, say Japanese scientists.

2010-07-06

 asteroid material probe sample
If you want us to build a really robust speech model, we need a lot of phonemes, which is a syllable as spoken by a particular voice with a particular intonation. So we need a lot of people talking, saying things so that we can ultimately train off of that. ... So 1-800-GOOG-411 is about that: Getting a bunch of different speech samples so that when you call up or we're trying to get the voice out of video, we can do it with high...

2010-10-09

 Google speech recognition sample voice crowdsourcing telephony
Japanese scientists have confirmed that particles found inside the Hayabusa probe after its seven-year space trip are from the asteroid Itokawa. ... It is the first time samples from an asteroid have been returned to Earth.

2010-11-16

 probe asteroid sample
Russian engineers are fighting to save the country's latest mission to Mars. The Phobos-Grunt probe launched successfully but then failed to fire the engine to put it on the correct path to the Red Planet. Russian space agency officials say the craft is currently stuck in an Earth orbit and that engineers have two weeks to correct the fault before the probe's batteries run out.

2011-11-09

 Phobos moon Russia Mars sample probe orbit