Jul 13, 2020
This week, OSIRIS-REx reentered orbit around Bennu. The spacecraft executed an orbit insertion maneuver on Jul. 9, and it is now flying in a 1-km terminator orbit around the asteroid. The mission team continues to prepare for the upcoming Matchpoint Rehearsal, scheduled for Aug. 11. This second rehearsal of the sample collection event navigates the spacecraft down toward Bennu’s surface and sample site Nightingale. The spacecraft will execute all three maneuvers planned for the Touch-And-Go (TAG) sequence – orbit departure, checkpoint, and matchpoint – before performing a back-away maneuver at an altitude of approximately 40 meters. As the name suggests, the previously executed Checkpoint Rehearsal completed the first two of these maneuvers prior to backing away. These rehearsals allow the team to become familiar with the steps of the actual TAG event, as well as build confidence in the accuracy of OSIRIS-REx’s autonomous navigation.