Taken October 20, 2020, during the OSIRIS-REx mission sample collection event, this series of images shows the field of view of the navigational camera (NavCam 2) as NASA The spacecraft approaches, touches and moves away from the surface of the asteroid Bennu. The sampling event brought the spacecraft to the Nightingale sampling site, and the team on Earth received a confirmation of a successful landing at 6:08 pm EDT. Preliminary data showed that the probe touched Bennu̵7;s surface for about six seconds, after which the spacecraft performed a retrograde burn.
These images were taken over a period of about three hours – the series of images started about an hour after maneuvering the orbital departure and ended about two minutes after being burned in the back. In the middle of the chain, the spacecraft spins or spins, so that NavCam 2 looks away from Bennu, into space. OSIRIS-REx Then make a final rotation to point the camera (and sampling arm) towards the surface again.
As the spacecraft approached the Nightingale site, the shadow of the sampled arm appeared in the lower part of the frame. Immediately after that, the sampler impacted the Nightingale site (just outside the camera field of view in the upper right) and fired off a tank of nitrogen, which mobilized a considerable amount of geomaterials. sampling point. Seconds later, the spacecraft performs a backburn and the shadow of the sampled arm is visible on the disturbed material surface.
The team went on to investigate the causes of the visible extreme shadows in the upper and middle parts of the frame. The upper area can be the edge of the indentation created by the sampling arm, a strong shading cast by the material protruding from the surface or some combination of the two. Likewise, the shadow in the center that appears first in the lower left of the image may be the depression caused by one of the spacecraft’s propulsion engines when it shoots, the ball from the loft material or a combination two.
The sequence was created using 189 images captured by the spacecraft’s NavCam 2 camera. NavCam 2 has taken pictures of the spacecraft’s Natural Feature Tracking (NFT) navigation system. The NFT system allows the spacecraft to automatically navigate to Bennu’s surface by comparing the real-time image with the onboard image catalog. During the sample collection event, the NavCam 2 camera continuously photographed the surface of Bennu so that the NFT system could update the spacecraft’s position and velocity relative to Bennu as it plunged down to its target.
NavCam 2, a panchromatic (monochrome) camera, is one of three cameras including the TAGCAMS (Touch and Move Camera System), which is part of OSIRIS’s guidance, navigation and control system- REx. TAGCAMS is designed, manufactured and tested by Malin Space Science Systems; Lockheed Martin Space integrated TAGCAMS into the spacecraft OSIRIS-REx and operated TAGCAMS.