Feb 17, 2020

This week, OSIRIS-REx safely executed a 0.4-mile (620-m) flyover of the backup sample collection site Osprey as part of the mission’s Reconnaissance B phase activities.

Preliminary telemetry indicates that the OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA) did not operate as expected during the 11-hour event. On Feb. 11, before the spacecraft left its safe home orbit to perform the flyover, an issue occurred with OLA’s Low-Energy Laser Transmitter (LELT). Available data from the pass, however, shows that the LELT system did not fire during the flyover. As a result, the PolyCam images from the Osprey flyover are likely out of focus.

The team is currently reviewing the available data in order to fully assess the impact of the event, and will provide an update on the instrument when more information is available. OLA’s High Energy Laser Transmitter (HELT) is still operating nominally.

The other science instruments, including the MapCam imager, the OSIRIS-REx Thermal Emissions Spectrometer (OTES), and the OSIRIS-REx Visual and InfraRed Spectrometer (OVIRS), all performed nominally during the flyover. These instruments and the spacecraft continue in normal operations in orbit around asteroid Bennu.

Media Contact

Erin Morton
OSIRIS-REx Communications