Category Cameras

The trajectory of OSIRIS-REx as we pass through the Earth-Sun L4 region.

Searching for the Earth-Trojan Asteroids

The OSIRIS-REx mission will take advantage of our fortuitous trajectory to search for an elusive class of asteroids that may be the remnants of the building blocks of the Earth. Since our launch on September 8, 2016, spacecraft operations for OSIRIS-REx have gone well. We have exercised the propulsion system by performing regular momentum dumps […]

spacecraft-sun-point

OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Check Out and Early Cruise Phase Activities

It has been awhile since I posted anything to this site. The launch of OSIRIS-REx was such an amazing, emotional experience; it took me about a month to come back down to Earth (pun intended). I have now settled into a normal work routine in Tucson and the team has been busy operating the spacecraft […]

BradsSpacecraftSelfie

Engineering an Impact on the New Frontier

Guest Blogger:  Bradley Williams It was a chilly December morning; I was 10 years old and sitting on the cold, hard floor of my elementary school library … too enthralled and focused on a 20-inch television screen to realize how uncomfortable I was.  The TV was showing a live stream of Entry, Decent, and Landing […]

TAGSAM deployment provides an opportunity to test the imaging capability of the SamCam.

OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Assembly Nearly Complete

The OSIRIS-REx mission continues to make great progress. As I have mentioned before, we are in the Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations (ATLO) phase of the program. We have had many great accomplishments leading up to this point. At the heart of our mission is the Sample Acquisition and Return Assembly (SARA). This assembly contains […]

The SARA panel, containing both TAGSAM and the SRC was installed on the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft this month. Note the harnesses dropping the panel in. The SRC and TAGSAM are bagged to maintain cleanliness and ensure return of a pristine sample.

Populating the OSIRIS-REx Science Deck

The assembly of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft continues, with many elements integrated onto the spacecraft ahead of schedule. Last month both OTES and OVIRS were delivered to Lockheed Martin and installed on the science deck. OTES had the honor of being the first science instrument to be placed on the spacecraft. Both OTES and OVIRS came […]

Scout and me :)

Plot Twist: How I Became the OSIRIS-REx Videographer

My name is Symeon Platts. I am a dog owner first and a cinematographer second. I graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Media Arts this past May, and I am now the Videographer for the OSIRIS-REx mission. I work closely with scientists and engineers to create content that showcases our mission’s objectives and […]

Figure 1: Artist view looking from the spacecraft down at the extended arm, and the sampling device during the descent to the surface.

How Do We Know When We Have Collected a Sample of Bennu?

Guest Blogger: Kevin Walsh A huge amount of effort goes into deciding where to try to collect a sample on Bennu. There are roughly nine months to survey, map and model the asteroid to help make this decision, and I will describe some of the important factors of that decision below. Just as important – […]

During Detailed Survey we generate the mineralogical and thermal maps of Bennu using OVIRS and OTES

The OSIRIS-REx Design Reference Mission – Our Battle Plan

This week the OSIRIS-REx team gathered at the Lockheed Martin facility in Denver to perform a “Design Reference Mission (DRM)” walkthrough. The DRM is basically the battle plan for OSIRIS-REx for accomplishing our goal of returning pristine samples from asteroid Bennu. In addition, the DRM lays out our basic strategy for dealing with any problems […]

The 70-m DSN antenna placed inside the Rose Bowl for scale – talk about making some noise!

From the Desert to Space

In my last post, guest blogger Bashar Rizk described the three cameras of the OSIRIS-REx Camera Suite (OCAMS). These imagers will provide unprecedented documentation of Bennu’s size, shape, geology, and environment. Have you ever wondered how those images, taken on board the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, get back down to Earth? Read on to learn about the […]

PolyCam is our spyglass used to spot Bennu from hundreds of thousands of miles and investigate fine-scale surface features

OCAMS – The Eyes of OSIRIS-REx

Guest Blogger: Bashar Rizk – OCAMS Instrument Scientist The OSIRIS-REx mission has the unique challenge of sending a spacecraft to the carbonaceous near-Earth asteroid Bennu, surveying the entire asteroid surface, reconnoitering potential sampling sites, then returning a sample to Earth. OSIRIS-REx must achieve all of these steps using only the observational assets he brings along. […]