Artist's rendering of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft
|Names||Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer|
|Mission type||Asteroid sample return|
|Mission duration||Planned: 7 years |
505 days at asteroid
Elapsed: 3 years, 6 days
286 days at asteroid
|Launch mass||2,110 kg (4,650 lb)|
|Dry mass||880 kg (1,940 lb)|
|Dimensions||2.44 × 2.44 × 3.15 m (8 × 8 × 10.33 ft)|
|Power||1,226 to 3,000 W|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||8 September 2016, 23:05 |
|End of mission|
|Landing date||Planned: 24 September 2023, 15:00UTC|
|Flyby of |
|Closest approach||22 September 2017|
|Orbital insertion||31 December 2018|
(Rendezvous: 3 December 2018)
|Orbital departure||3 March 2021 (planned)|
|Sample mass||0.1–2.0 kg (0.13–4.4 lb)|
The OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer) is a
OSIRIS-REx was launched on 8 September 2016, flew past Earth on 22 September 2017, and reached the proximity of Bennu on 3 December 2018, where it began analyzing its surface for a target sample area over the next several months. It is expected to return with its sample to Earth on 24 September 2023.
The cost of the mission is approximately US$800 million not including the
Overall management, engineering and navigation for the mission is provided by
After traveling for approximately two years, the spacecraft
An asteroid was chosen as the target of study because an asteroid is a '
Following collection of material (from 60 grams to two kilograms), the sample will be returned to Earth in a 46-kilogram (101 lb) capsule similar to that which returned the samples of comet
The launch was on 8 September 2016 at 23:05
OSIRIS-REx entered the cruise phase shortly after separation from the launch vehicle, following successful solar panel deployment, propulsion system initiation, and establishment of a communication link with Earth. Its hyperbolic escape speed from Earth was about 5.41 km/s (3.36 mi/s). On 28 December 2016, the spacecraft successfully performed its first deep space maneuver to change its velocity by 431 m/s (1,550 km/h; 960 mph) using 354 kg (780 lb) of fuel. An additional, smaller firing of its thrusters on 18 January further refined its course for an Earth
During its cruise phase, OSIRIS-REx was used to search for a class of
On 12 February 2017, while 673 million km (418 million mi) from
OSIRIS-REx flew by Earth on 22 September 2017.
On 3 December 2018, NASA affirmed that OSIRIS-REx had matched the speed and orbit of Bennu at a distance of about 19 kilometers (12 mi), effectively reaching the asteroid. OSIRIS-REx performed closer passes of the Bennu surface, initially at about 6.5 km (4.0 mi) through December to further refine the shape and orbit of Bennu. Preliminary spectroscopic surveys of the asteroid's surface by OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, detected the presence of
OSIRIS-REx entered orbit around Bennu on 31 December 2018 at about 1.75 km (1.09 mi) to start its extensive remote mapping and sensing campaign for the selection of a sample site. This is the closest distance that any spacecraft has orbited a celestial object, surpassing the
Rehearsals will be performed before the sampling event, during which the solar arrays will be raised into a Y-shaped configuration to minimize the chance of dust accumulation during contact and provide more ground clearance in case the spacecraft tips over (up to 45°) during contact. The descent will be very slow to minimize thruster firings prior to contact in order to reduce the likelihood of asteroid surface contamination by unreacted
Upon surface contact by the TAGSAM instrument, a burst of
OSIRIS-REx will then halt the drift away from the asteroid in case it is necessary to return for another sampling attempt. The spacecraft will use images and spinning maneuvers to verify the sample has been acquired as well as determine its mass and verify it is in excess of the required 60 grams (2.1 oz). In the event of a failed sampling attempt, the spacecraft will return for another try. There is enough nitrogen gas for three attempts.
In addition to the bulk sampling mechanism, contact pads on the end of the sampling head will passively collect dust grains smaller than 1 mm, upon contact with the asteroid. These pads are made from tiny loops of stainless steel.
After the sampling attempt, the Sample-Return Capsule (SRC) lid will be opened to allow the sampler head to be stowed. The arm will then be retracted into its launch configuration, and the SRC lid will be closed and latched preparing to return to
On 24 September 2023 the OSIRIS-REx return capsule will re-enter Earth's atmosphere and land under a parachute at the Air Force's