Lockheed Martin has received a suite of three cameras for installation with a NASA spacecraft for the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer mission.
NASA said Tuesday Lockheed will integrate the PolyCam, MapCam and SamCam cameras with the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to collect images of the Bennu asteroid, investigate the presence of dust plumes and satellites, and gather samples of the asteroid.
The space agency plans to launch the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft in September 2016 and expects the space vehicle to return to Earth with the collected samples by 2023.
“The most important goal of these cameras is to maximize our ability to successfully return a sample,” said Bashar Rizk, OSIRIS-REx Camera Suite instrument scientist at the University of Arizona.
“Our mission requires a lot of activities during one trip – navigation, mapping, reconnaissance, sample site selection, and sampling.”