Touch And Go Camera System (TAGCAMS) for the OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission

B. J. Bos, M. A. Ravine, M. Caplinger, J. A. Schaffner, J. V. Ladewig, R. D. Olds, C. D. Norman, D. Huish, M. Hughes, S. K. Anderson, D. A. Lorenz, A. May, C. D. Jackman, D. Nelson, M. Moreau, D. Kubitschek, K. Getzandanner, K. E. Gordon, A. Eberhardt, D. S. Lauretta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission spacecraft includes the Touch And Go Camera System (TAGCAMS) three camera-head instrument. The purpose of TAGCAMS is to provide imagery during the mission to facilitate navigation to the target asteroid, confirm acquisition of the asteroid sample, and document asteroid sample stowage. The cameras were designed and constructed by Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) based on requirements developed by Lockheed Martin and NASA. All three of the cameras are mounted to the spacecraft nadir deck and provide images in the visible part of the spectrum, 400–700 nm. Two of the TAGCAMS cameras, NavCam 1 and NavCam 2, serve as fully redundant navigation cameras to support optical navigation and natural feature tracking. Their boresights are aligned in the nadir direction with small angular offsets for operational convenience. The third TAGCAMS camera, StowCam, provides imagery to assist with and confirm proper stowage of the asteroid sample. Its boresight is pointed at the OSIRIS-REx sample return capsule located on the spacecraft deck. All three cameras have at their heart a 2592×1944pixel complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) detector array that provides up to 12-bit pixel depth. All cameras also share the same lens design and a camera field of view of roughly 44 × 32 with a pixel scale of 0.28 mrad/pixel. The StowCam lens is focused to image features on the spacecraft deck, while both NavCam lens focus positions are optimized for imaging at infinity. A brief description of the TAGCAMS instrument and how it is used to support critical OSIRIS-REx operations is provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number37
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Asteroid
  • Bennu
  • Cameras
  • Imaging systems
  • Instruments
  • Planetary missions
  • Remote sensing
  • Sample return
  • Spacecraft

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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