Aerojet Rocketdyne Propulsion Powers OSIRIS-REx’s Approach of Asteroid Bennu
- All 28 of the rocket engines on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft are provided by
- Onboard delta-v thrusters will slow the spacecraft’s speed by more than 1,000 mph to match Bennu’s velocity and enable a safe arrival.
Aerojet Rocketdynepropulsion will maneuver OSIRIS-REx around the circumference of Bennu for more than a year for surveying and mapping before descending to the surface to take a sample, and then accelerating the spacecraft back to Earth for its return.
Numbering 28 in total, all of the rocket engines on the
OSIRIS-REx will perform a series of braking maneuvers to modify the spacecraft’s velocity and trajectory, slowing down more than 1,000 mph and matching orbits with the asteroid. After arrival, OSIRIS-REx will transition into its surveying and mapping phase, in which it will maneuver around the circumference of the asteroid for more than a year. The surveying will help identify a site at which OSIRIS-REx will eventually collect a sample of Bennu’s surface to return to Earth for study.
“From the 2016 launch from
To obtain the asteroid sample,
The return phase of the mission requires the firing of the MR-107 thrusters to depart Bennu at a speed of 716 mph, placing OSIRIS-REx on a trajectory that intersects the orbit of the Earth in
In addition to the critical in-space propulsion provided to the spacecraft, Aerojet Rocketdyne’s contribution to the OSIRIS-REx mission extended to the launch vehicle’s main and second stages as well. The mission launched on Sept. 8, 2016 from
Source: Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc.