Press Release

MSSS Awarded Contract by Lockheed Martin to Provide Camera for OSIRIS-REx Mission

By SpaceRef Editor
May 9, 2014
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Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) has been selected by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company to provide cameras for the OSIRIS-REx mission. OSIRIS-REx (Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer) is a NASA New Frontiers mission, led by Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland manages the mission for NASA. Lockheed Martin is building the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft and will operate it in flight from its Mission Support Area in Denver, Colorado.

To be launched in September 2016, OSIRIS-REx will orbit the near-Earth asteroid 101955 Bennu, eventually acquiring a sample from its surface and returning it to Earth in 2023.

MSSS will provide the Touch-and-Go Camera System or TAGCAMS, which will consist of two redundant Navigation Cameras or “NavCams”, and a single “StowCam”. The NavCams will be used for navigation and control both by ground controllers and the spacecraft’s onboard guidance system, while the StowCam will be used to verify proper storage of the asteroid sample in the spacecraft’s Sample Return Capsule.

TAGCAMS is a version of MSSS’s off-the-shelf ECAM space camera product line, with mission-specific enhancements to its optics, digital logic, and software. The NavCams are ECAM-M50s, the StowCam is an ECAM-C50 (all with the standard ECAM MFOV lens system) and the cameras are controlled by an ECAM-DVR8.

MSSS cameras are currently operating on five space missions, most recently the Curiosity Mars rover and the Juno mission to Jupiter. ECAM builds on this experience to meet a need for capable science and engineering support cameras that provide high reliability imaging, while using a minimum of mission resources.

Jacob Schaffner, electronics engineer and the designer of ECAM at MSSS said, “TAGCAMS is a demanding application, but one which the ECAM system has proven well-suited for, and all in a package that weighs less than 3 kilograms. We’re proud to be part of this exciting mission.”

Additional information about the ECAM product line can be found at

The OSIRIS-REx mission is described at

SpaceRef staff editor.