Tag Archives: reaction wheels

Spacecraft Structure – The Bones of OSIRIS-REx

Last month, I had the opportunity to visit the spacecraft composite fabrication lab at Lockheed Martin’s Space Systems Company facility near Denver. The construction of OSIRIS-REx has begun! The first flight components include the spacecraft structural parts – basically the skeleton of our spacecraft upon which all other components will be mounted. Spacecraft structures have […]

Sampling an Asteroid – A Game of Laser TAG

Every spacecraft mission has at least one moment of terror. For OSIRIS-REx, mission success comes down to the five seconds when our Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) “kisses” the surface of asteroid Bennu to acquire a sample. Our TAG-based sampling approach is the result of over ten years of research and development efforts. To Land […]

Six Degrees of Freedom

The primary objective of OSIRIS-REx is to return a sample of asteroid Bennu to Earth. Many of the functions required to achieve mission success – such as collecting solar energy for power or communicating with the Earth – are standard for any operating spacecraft. However, there are many unique challenges for this mission. One of […]