The team has received confirmation that OSIRIS-REx’s two solar arrays have deployed.
‘A Terrific Performance’
“What a terrific performance by the combined Atlas V team,” NASA Launch Manager Tim Dunn told NASA Commentator Mike Curie after the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft separated from the Centaur upper stage, signifying the end of tonight’s launch and the start of the asteroid-sampler’s mission to Bennu.
“Not a single anomaly was worked during the countdown,” Dunn said. “That’s almost unheard of — it’s a launch director’s dream.”
He commended the spacecraft, rocket and launch teams whose thorough preparations led to a very successful countdown and launch, sending OSIRIS-REx off on its mission at the first launch opportunity at 7:05 p.m. tonight.
Spacecraft Sep! OSIRIS-REx is Bennu-bound
Flying high above the southern tip of Australia, the OSIRIS-REx successfully separated from the Centaur upper stage, beginning a seven-year mission to travel to the asteroid Bennu and return a sample to Earth.
Next, OSIRIS-REx will “phone home” via the Deep Space Network, and confirm its solar arrays have deployed.
Standing By for Spacecraft Separation
Controllers and mission officials are expecting to see OSIRIS-REx separate from the Centaur in two minutes.
Second Coast Phase Continues
The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft remains attached to the Centaur upper stage following the ride to space that began with liftoff from Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida at 7:05 p.m. EDT. The spacecraft is due to separate from the Centaur at about 8:04 p.m.
MECO-2! Centaur Completes Final Burn
The Centaur’s RL-10 engine has cut off for the second and final time. OSIRIS-REx will remain attached for another 15 minutes before it is released at about 8:04 p.m. EDT.
Second Centaur Burn Going Well
Centaur engine is performing well and tank pressures are stable, according to ULA Telemetry Engineer Marty Malinowski.
Centaur Begins Second Burn
The Centaur engine has reignited for its second and final burn in tonight’s ascent. This burn lasts six minutes, 50 seconds.
Launch Video Posted!
Note: If you are having trouble with the videos, try viewing the blog at https://blogs.nasa.gov/osiris-rex (without the ‘S’ in http). This video issue stems from firewall settings at various locales.
Coast Phase Continues
The Centaur and the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft are still joined as they continue in the first coast phase. It’s been 26 minutes since the Atlas V rocket carrying OSIRIS-REx lifted off from Space Launch Complex 41. The Atlas V first stage performed well and handed off to the Centaur upper stage, which completed its first of two burns. The next is coming up.