OSIRIS-REx: Sample Return from Asteroid (101955) Bennu

Abstract

In May of 2011, NASA selected the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security–Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) asteroid sample return mission as the third mission in the New Frontiers program. The other two New Frontiers missions are New Horizons, which explored Pluto during a flyby in July 2015 and is on its way for a flyby of Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 on January 1, 2019, and Juno, an orbiting mission that is studying the origin, evolution, and internal structure of Jupiter. The spacecraft departed for near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu aboard an United Launch Alliance Atlas V 411 evolved expendable launch vehicle at 7:05 p.m. EDT on September 8, 2016, on a seven-year journey to return samples from Bennu. The spacecraft is on an outbound-cruise trajectory that will result in a rendezvous with Bennu in November 2018. The science instruments on the spacecraft will survey Bennu to measure its physical, geological, and chemical properties, and the team will use these data to select a site on the surface to collect at least 60 g of asteroid regolith. The team will also analyze the remote-sensing data to perform a detailed study of the sample site for context, assess Bennu’s resource potential, refine estimates of its impact probability with Earth, and provide ground-truth data for the extensive astronomical data set collected on this asteroid. The spacecraft will leave Bennu in 2021 and return the sample to the Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR) on September 24, 2023.

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Abbreviations

AAM:

Asteroid Approach Maneuver

APID:

Application Process Identifier Definition

ASIST:

Advanced System for Integration and Spacecraft Test

ATLO:

Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations

AU:

Astronomical Unit: the average distance between the Earth and the Sun

C3:

Characteristic energy of launch

Delta-DOR:

Delta-Differential One-way Ranging

DLA:

Declination of the Launch Asymptote

DRA:

Design Reference Asteroid

DRM:

Design Reference Mission

DSM:

Deep Space Maneuver

DSN:

Deep Space Network

ECAS:

Eight-Color Asteroid Survey

EGA:

Earth gravity assist

FDS:

Flight Dynamics System

FEDS:

Front End Data System

FOB:

Flight Operations Bucket

GM:

universal coefficient of gravity (G) multiplied by the mass of a planetary object (M)

GN&C:

Guidance, Navigation, and Control

GRAIL:

Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission

I/F:

Ratio of reflected energy to incoming energy (i.e. irradiance/solar flux)

IEST:

Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology

ISO:

International Organization for Standardization

ISVM:

Integrated Global Science Value Map

JPL:

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

JSC:

NASA Johnson Space Center

LIDAR:

Light Detection and Ranging

LINEAR:

Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research survey

MAVEN:

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN mission

MIC:

Microparticle Impact Collection

MRO:

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

MSA:

Mission Support Area

MSL:

Mean Sea Level

NASA:

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NEA:

Near-Earth asteroid

NEAR:

Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous mission

NFT:

Natural Feature Tracking

OCAMS:

OSIRIS-REx Camera Suite

OLA:

OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter

OSIRIS-REx:

Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security–Regolith Explorer

OTES:

OSIRIS-REx Thermal Emission Spectrometer

OVIRS:

OSIRIS-REx Visible and Infrared Spectrometer

PDS:

Planetary Data System

PET:

Preliminary-examination Team

PSFD:

Particle Size Frequency Distribution

REXIS:

Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer

RGB:

Red, Green, Blue

RLA:

Right Ascension of the Launch Asymptote

ROI:

Region of Interest

SAP:

Sample Analysis Plan

SARA:

Sample Acquisition and Return Assembly

SPC:

stereophotoclinometry

SPICE:

S—Spacecraft ephemeris; P—Planet, satellite, comet, or asteroid ephemerides; I—Instrument description kernel; C—Pointing kernel; E—Events kernel

SPK:

Spacecraft and Planet Kernel

SPOC:

Science Processing and Operations Center

SRC:

Sample Return Capsule

TAG:

Touch and Go

TAGCAMS:

Touch and Go Camera System

TAGSAM:

Touch and Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism

UTTR:

Utah Test and Training Range

Vis-NIR:

Visible and Near-Infrared

YORP:

Yarkovsky–O’Keefe–Radzievskii–Paddack effect

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Acknowledgements

The launch of OSIRIS-REx was the culmination of over a decade of hard work by thousands of people across the globe. This event marked the beginning of one of the greatest scientific expeditions of all time—sample return from asteroid Bennu. We thank the multitude of team members and their families for the dedication and support of this mission. This material is based upon work supported by NASA under Contracts NNM10AA11C, NNG12FD66C, and NNG13FC02C issued through the New Frontiers Program. Copy editing and indexing provided by Mamassian Editorial Services.

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Lauretta, D.S., Balram-Knutson, S.S., Beshore, E. et al. OSIRIS-REx: Sample Return from Asteroid (101955) Bennu. Space Sci Rev 212, 925–984 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11214-017-0405-1

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Keywords

  • OSIRIS-REx
  • Bennu
  • Asteroid
  • Sample return