Jan 27, 2020
This week, OSIRIS-REx successfully executed the 620-m flyover of site Nightingale as part of the mission’s Reconnaissance B phase activities. On Jan. 21, the spacecraft performed an orbit departure maneuver to break from its safe-home orbit. It then flew at a lower altitude over the asteroid to arrive over the Nightingale site, where it performed science observations for 4 hours. After completing the flyover, the spacecraft executed a maneuver to reenter orbit on Jan. 22. During the transit, the spacecraft traveled between 6.2 cm/s and 9.0 cm/s relative to Bennu. Science observations taken during this flyover are the closest taken of a sample site to date and will aid the team in further assessing the presence of fine-grained, sampleable material.
Before departing orbit for the flyover, the spacecraft had been in a stable orbit around Bennu since Oct. 31, and completed approximately 56 orbits of the asteroid. OSIRIS-REx is now back in orbit and will remain there until the 620-m flyover of backup site Osprey, scheduled for Feb. 11.