Jul 29, 2019
This week, OSIRIS-REx completed its 6th week of Orbital B phase, in which the spacecraft continued its scheduled science activities from a low altitude orbit. PolyCam images from this orbit show resolved material on Bennu’s surface, which indicates that sampleable material is present. This is the first time that images of this resolution have been captured by the spacecraft’s cameras.
The second checkout of the Natural Feature Tracking (NFT) autonomous navigation system executed successfully on July 20—demonstrating that NFT works as designed in real-life conditions. During sample collection, the spacecraft will use NFT for guidance as it descends to asteroid Bennu’s surface.
Also on July 20, the digital video recorder (DVR) for the Touch-and-Go Camera Suite (TAGCAMS) became unresponsive to spacecraft commands. As a result, no imaging was recorded by TAGCAMS. The issue was cleared on July 22 during a regularly scheduled power cycle of the system, and an investigation into the root cause of the issue is ongoing.
The team continues to prepare for the transition into Orbital C phase, which will be executed in the coming weeks.