The OSIRIS-REx Radio Science Experiment at Bennu

J. W. McMahon, D. J. Scheeres, S. G. Hesar, D. Farnocchia, S. Chesley, D. Lauretta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The OSIRIS-REx mission will conduct a Radio Science investigation of the asteroid Bennu with a primary goal of estimating the mass and gravity field of the asteroid. The spacecraft will conduct proximity operations around Bennu for over 1 year, during which time radiometric tracking data, optical landmark tracking images, and altimetry data will be obtained that can be used to make these estimates. Most significantly, the main Radio Science experiment will be a 9-day arc of quiescent operations in a 1-km nominally circular terminator orbit. The pristine data from this arc will allow the Radio Science team to determine the significant components of the gravity field up to the fourth spherical harmonic degree. The Radio Science team will also be responsible for estimating the surface accelerations, surface slopes, constraints on the internal density distribution of Bennu, the rotational state of Bennu to confirm YORP estimates, and the ephemeris of Bennu that incorporates a detailed model of the Yarkovsky effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number43
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Asteroids
  • Bennu
  • Gravity estimation
  • Radio science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'The OSIRIS-REx Radio Science Experiment at Bennu'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this