NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) is a New Frontiers mission whose primary goal is to return the first samples ever taken from a special type of asteroid (Bennu) holding clues to the origin of the solar system and likely organic molecules that may have seeded life on Earth. The OSIRIS-REx instrument suite includes:

  • the OSIRIS-REx Thermal Emission Spectrometer (OTES)
  • the Regolith X-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS)
  • the OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA)
  • the OSIRIS-REx Visible and Infrared Spectrometer (OVIRS)
  • the Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM)
  • the OSIRIS-REx Camera Suite (OCAMS)

Columbus supported the OSIRIS-Rex mission through the SES and GSMO-2 contracts at Goddard Space Flight Center. As the Prime contractor for SES, Columbus led the team that supported the development of flight and ground software systems for OSIRIS-Rex. We supported Lockheed Martin Space in the evolution and risk reduction efforts for the Stereophotoclinometry (SPC) software which provided optical navigation data required to assist in providing accurate navigation solutions during the critical “Touch-and-Go” (TAG) phase of the mission, which happened just this past Tuesday.

The SES team provided software systems engineering and development support for the OVIRS SIDECAR assembly code development and test effort, supported hardware-software interface requirements definition, supported design and code reviews, assisted in the diagnosis of anomalies and their solutions, provided documentation of solutions, and supported code verifications efforts.

Furthermore, we provided significant leadership and support to MIT graduate students during the development of the REXIS instrument. We assisted in requirements definition, requirements verification, FSW architecture, instrument commands and telemetry, FSW testing definition and preparation, and FSW development, through document reviews, design reviews, code reviews, fault management reviews, science mode reviews and working group meetings.

Under the GSMO-2 contract and under the Space Science Mission Operations (SSMO) project, Columbus provided systems engineering support to analyze and resolve any problems encountered by OSIRIS-Rex.

We are very proud to have supported NASA GSFC with this project. We look forward to sharing more updates as we continue to make history and achieve new firsts for space exploration.