optical navigation image

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(opnav image)

An image used to determine a space probe's trajectory. Normal on-board imaging instruments are used to observe a target planet or other destination body against a known background of stars. The observation commands are uplinked in advance. In contrast, opnav images are downlinked in telemetry to be assessed by the navigation team. The data helps them update information about the vehicle's trajectory.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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