OSIRIS-REx parachute deployment was affected by a wiring error

OSIRIS-REx parachute deployment was affected by a wiring error

WASHINGTON – The narcotic parachute in the OSIRIS-REx sample return capsule failed to deploy properly due to a design error, a flaw that did not prevent the capsule’s safe landing.

In a statement issued on December 5, NASA said that a review of data from the capsule’s September 24 landing in the Utah desert and documents related to the rover led the agency to conclude that “inconsistent wire label definitions” prevented the drug from spreading as intended during the period. Launch. Capsule descent.

The parachute is designed to deploy to an altitude of about 30.5 kilometres, helping to slow and stabilize the capsule before deploying the larger main parachute. However, the signal that was intended to spread the anesthetic instead caused the capsule’s systems to cut off the anesthetic while it was still packed inside.

The capsule continued to fall without the anesthetic until it descended below 3,000 metres, when NASA said the anesthetic then diffused. Since his retaining wire had already been cut, the drug escaped.

The main parachute was then deployed, and its design was strong enough to stabilize the capsule and slow it down, resulting in a safe landing more than a minute earlier than expected, NASA reported.

It was clear on the day of landing that the landing had not gone according to plan. Officials said at the time that they had no visual confirmation of the drug being inflated, so it was unclear how well it was performing.

“Maybe something in our sequence behaved exactly the way we expected, but things later in the sequence made up for it,” said Tim Preiser, chief engineer for deep space exploration at spacecraft maker Lockheed Martin. Press conference shortly after landing. “Ultimately, when this major lubricant was deployed, it basically corrected anything that might have come before it.”

NASA said in the statement that the problem is related to an inconsistent definition of the term “primary” in the system’s documentation. On the signal side, “main” meant the main parachute. In contrast, “main” on the receiver side was used as a reference to the pyrotechnics being fired to release the parachute case cover and spread the drug. Connecting the two mains caused a deployment malfunction.

However, OSIRIS-REx escaped harm, unlike a similar incident that occurred nearly two decades ago. In September 2004, NASA’s Genesis mission returned to Earth after collecting samples of the solar wind. The drug in the return capsule failed to diffuse, causing the capsule to tumble and crash into the Utah desert. NASA’s review concluded that “G-switch sensors” intended to measure the capsule’s deceleration and parachute release were installed upside down, a defect that had not been discovered in pre-launch reviews.

The OSIRIS-REx capsule did not falter and eventually landed safely, protecting its payload of approximately 250 grams of material collected from the asteroid Bennu. The sample tray is now at NASA’s Astromaterials Facility at Johnson Space Center, where the team has already extracted more than 70 grams of material, some of which has been delivered to scientists for analysis.

“I think over the next year, we’ll see some amazing results from that study of the sample,” Rich Burns, OSIRIS-REx project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said during a panel discussion on SpaceNews Icon. An awards event took place on December 5, where the mission won Civil Space Achievement of the Year.

The only problem these efforts encountered was opening the main sample container. Some of the fasteners were “a little stubborn about loosening them,” he said. This effort is further complicated by the need to avoid contamination of the original sample.

The project is developing new tools that are “manufactured to be compatible and not contaminate the sample” to remove stuck fasteners, Burns said. He noted, however, that more than 70 grams of material recovered so far exceeds the mission requirement of collecting 60 grams.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *