Matchpoint Rehearsal from the Lens of MapCam

Captured on Aug. 11 during the second rehearsal of the OSIRIS-REx mission’s sample collection event, this series of images shows the MapCam imager’s field of view as the NASA spacecraft approaches and moves away from asteroid Bennu’s surface. The rehearsal brought the spacecraft through the first three maneuvers of the sampling sequence to a point approximately 131 feet (40 meters) above the surface, after which the spacecraft performed a back-away burn.

These images were captured over a two-minute period. The imaging sequence begins at approximately 144 feet (44 meters) above the surface – three minutes after the spacecraft executed the “Matchpoint” maneuver – and ends approximately two minutes after the back-away maneuver, with the last image taken approximately 200 feet (61 meters) above the surface of Bennu. This image series also captures the spacecraft’s closest approach, with the nearest image taken approximately 135 feet (41 meters) from the asteroid’s surface. The gif was created using 22 images taken by the spacecraft’s MapCam camera.

For reference, the image series shows the central region of the crater where sample site Nightingale is located – Nightingale itself comes into view at the end of the sequence (upper right). These are the closest images of the Nightingale crater captured to date.

Date Taken: August 11, 2020

Instrument Used: OCAMS (MapCam)

Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona


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