OSIRIS-REx Flight Dynamics and Navigation Design

B. Williams, P. Antreasian, E. Carranza, C. Jackman, J. Leonard, D. Nelson, B. Page, D. Stanbridge, D. Wibben, K. Williams, M. Moreau, K. Berry, K. Getzandanner, A. Liounis, A. Mashiku, D. Highsmith, B. Sutter, D. S. Lauretta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


OSIRIS-REx is the first NASA mission to return a sample of an asteroid to Earth. Navigation and flight dynamics for the mission to acquire and return a sample of asteroid 101955 Bennu establish many firsts for space exploration. These include relatively small orbital maneuvers that are precise to ∼1 mm/s, close-up operations in a captured orbit about an asteroid that is small in size and mass, and planning and orbit phasing to revisit the same spot on Bennu in similar lighting conditions. After preliminary surveys and close approach flyovers of Bennu, the sample site will be scientifically characterized and selected. A robotic shock-absorbing arm with an attached sample collection head mounted on the main spacecraft bus acquires the sample, requiring navigation to Bennu’s surface. A touch-and-go sample acquisition maneuver will result in the retrieval of at least 60 grams of regolith, and up to several kilograms. The flight activity concludes with a return cruise to Earth and delivery of the sample return capsule (SRC) for landing and sample recovery at the Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number69
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • Asteroid
  • Bennu
  • Flight dynamics
  • Optical navigation
  • Orbit determination
  • Sample return

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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