Mass and Shape Determination of (101955) Bennu Using Differenced Data from Multiple OSIRIS-REx Mission PhasesOPEN ACCESS 

Sander Goossens, David D. Rowlands, Erwan Mazarico, Andrew J. Liounis, Jeffrey L. Small, Dolan E. Highsmith, Jason C. Swenson, Joshua R. Lyzhoft, Benjamin W. Ashman, Kenneth M. Getzandanner, Jason M. Leonard, Jeroen L. Geeraert, Coralie D. Adam, Peter G. Antreasian, Olivier S. Barnouin, Michael G. Daly, Jeffrey A. Seabrook and Dante S. Lauretta

The Planetary Science Journal, Volume 2, Number 6


“The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission collected a sample from the rubble-pile asteroid (101955) Bennu for return to Earth. For the successful Touch And Go sample acquisition maneuver, the shape and mass of the asteroid needed to be known precisely. Here we use a combination of radiometric, image landmark, and laser altimetry data to determine Bennu’s mass, shape, and orientation simultaneously and to verify existing models thereof. Our shape determination consists of estimating a scale factor and three frame rotation angles that apply to both the global digital terrain model (GDTM) and the landmark coordinates. We use a data type called image constraints, where we take the difference of the observation of the same landmark in images taken at two different times. We analyze data from two phases of the OSIRIS-REx mission, Orbital B and Recon B, and show that interphase image constraints greatly reduce interdependencies between estimated parameters for mass, GDTM scale, and biases on the altimetry data. This results in an improved solution for the mass and shape relative to considering a single mission phase. We find Bennu’s gravitational parameter GM to be 4.89256 ± 0.00035 m3 s−2, and we find a scale factor of 1.000896 ± 0.00036 for the altimetry-based GDTM. Using the scaled volume, this results in a bulk density of 1191.57 ± 1.74 kg m−3 , which is within the uncertainties of previous analyses but more precise.”