Miniature Radar Advancing Asteroid Study and Research

April 3, 2024

Title: Luxembourg’s GomSpace Transfers Juventas Satellite to ESA for Hera Mission

Key Points:
– GomSpace has transferred the Juventas satellite to ESA for the Hera mission, targeting the double asteroid Didymos.
– The Hera mission aims to study the impact of the NASA-built DART probe crash into Didymos’ moon Dimorphos in 2022.
– Juventas, a Cubesat platform-based satellite, will conduct a comprehensive study of Dimorphos’ internal structure using the Jura low-frequency radar.

Luxembourg-based GomSpace has handed over the Juventas satellite to the European Space Agency (ESA) for its upcoming Hera mission. This mission will focus on the double asteroid Didymos, specifically studying the impact of the NASA DART probe crash into its moon Dimorphos in 2022.

Latest Developments:
The Juventas satellite, measuring 37x23x10 cm, will separate from the Hera spacecraft upon arrival at the target. It will orbit Dimorphos and utilize the Jura low-frequency radar to study its internal structure. Despite challenges with thermal balance, Juventas will also be equipped with a lidar, navigation camera, and inter-satellite communication system.

The Hera mission follows the DART probe’s successful impact on Dimorphos, altering its orbital period and releasing tons of matter. Juventas, along with fellow Cubesat Milani, will assist Hera in studying the aftermath of this impact on the pair of asteroids.

By studying Dimorphos’ internal structure and recording shifts in surface gravity, Juventas’ data will help determine the asteroid’s exact mass. This information is crucial for understanding the effects of space bombardment and the behavior of celestial bodies in close proximity.

Expert Opinions:
Experts involved in the Hera mission emphasize the importance of Juventas’ role in studying Dimorphos and contributing valuable data to the mission’s objectives. The successful landing and operation of the Juventas satellite on the asteroid’s surface will provide unprecedented insights into the asteroid’s composition and behavior.

The transfer of the Juventas satellite to ESA for the Hera mission marks a significant step in space exploration and asteroid research. With innovative technology and ambitious goals, this mission promises to deepen our understanding of celestial bodies and their interactions in space. Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting endeavor.

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