Real-time animation of the OSIRIS-REx Touch-And-Go (TAG) Event. This animation accurately depicts the spacecraft's journey to the surface of Bennu.
On October 20, 2020, NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft briefly touched down on near-Earth asteroid Bennu and collected a sample of pristine material for return to Earth. The Touch-And-Go (TAG) Event was a feat of engineering, carefully monitored by mission controllers at Lockheed Martin Space and broadcast live on NASA-TV.
During the broadcast, the real-time animation above allowed viewers to follow OSIRIS-REx as it slowly maneuvered to the surface of Bennu. This animation is based on the spacecraft's nominal trajectory and an accurate 3D model of the asteroid's terrain. Broadcast playback was adjusted for the light-time delay from Bennu to Earth (plus signal processing), providing viewers with a real-time window onto the TAG Event.
Highlights can be found at the following animation time steps (hours: minutes: seconds):
00:29:03 - First move to Y-Wing configuration 00:34:29 - Second move to Y-Wing configuration 00:39:54 - Y-Wing configuration complete 00:43:27 - Checkpoint engine burn start 00:54:34 - Matchpoint engine burn start 01:05:10 - TOUCH asteroid Bennu 01:05:18 - Back-away engine burn start 01:06:43 - Begin slew to Pegasus configuration
Animation frames are organized into chapters for ease of download.