The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security–Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission will return the first pristine samples of carbonaceous material from the surface of a primitive asteroid. OSIRIS-REx’s target asteroid (101955) Bennu is the most exciting, accessible, volatile, and organic-rich remnant from the early solar system, as well as one of the most potentially hazardous asteroids known.
After launching in September 2016, OSIRIS-REx begins a two-year cruise to Bennu that includes an Earth flyby in September of 2017. OSIRIS-REx detects Bennu 60 days in advance of rendezvous and surveys its environment for natural satellites and other hazards. OSIRIS-REx then spends the next 7 months characterizing the surface and orbital environment of Bennu. Four candidate sample sites are characterized with OSIRIS-REx’s instrument suite and the Touch-And-Go (TAG) maneuver sequence is practiced. In October 2019, OSIRIS-REx executes the TAG maneuver and collects both bulk and surface samples. After a period of quiescent drifting away from Bennu, in March of 2021, OSIRIS-REx begins its return journey to the Earth. Following a 2.5 year return cruise, the Sample Return Capsule (SRC) is released, re-entering Earth’s atmosphere and landing at the Utah Test & Training Range in September of 2023.
The Science Processing and Operations Center (SPOC) is the centralized location for all OSIRIS-REx science data processing during the operational phases of the mission.
Spacecraft telemetry, science instrument data, and tracking information are received by the SPOC. The Ingest portion of the SPOC system ingests the raw science and engineering telemetry for all instruments via the Front End Data System (FEDS) interface. The Digest portion of the SPOC server then composes complete telemetry products, reassembles data packets into complete buffers, generates L0 and L1 engineering data products for all science instruments, processes L0 un-calibrated science data products into L2 products ready for analysis, and creates FDS OpNav deliverables. The science team develops science data products for site selection as well as long-term science, and places those in the SPOC repository. All data products are available on the SPOC data repository for storage, retrieval, and delivery to the PDS.