Oct 08, 2018
New tracking data confirm that the spacecraft completed its first Asteroid Approach Maneuver (AAM-1) on Oct. 1, starting the final approach to Bennu. The main engine burn slowed the spacecraft speed by 785.831 miles per hour (351.298 meters per second) and consumed 532.4 pounds (241.5 kilograms) of fuel.
From the beginning of the mission’s science operations on Aug. 17 through AAM-1, PolyCam obtained optical navigation images (OpNavs) of Bennu on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday cadence. After AAM-1, PolyCam is taking daily OpNavs as the spacecraft continues to close in on the asteroid.
This last week the spacecraft’s MapCam camera also began taking daily Phase Function images. These images support the mission’s science requirement to measure changes in light reflected from Bennu’s surface as the Sun illuminates the asteroid across a range of angles. These observations provide information on Bennu’s albedo and the way light reflects under various observing conditions.