Juventas, GRASS and planetary defence against asteroids

Structure of Juventas and GRASS
1:1 scale model

The Juventas CubeSat is part of ESA's Hera planetary defence mission, scheduled for launch in 2024. This shoebox-sized nanosatellite (30 x 20 x 10 cm) is built by GomSpace and will contain the GRASS instrument, developed by the Royal Observatory of Belgium in collaboration with EMXYS (Spain).

GRASS will measure the gravity field of the asteroid Dimorphos, which itself orbits the asteroid Didymos. The estimated gravity on Dimorphos is tiny: about one million times smaller than on Earth.

With the data that GRASS will collect, we will learn more about the internal structure of the asteroid and thus better determine how to deflect dangerous asteroids to protect the Earth.

Artist's view of the ESA Hera satellite (left) and its two CubeSats (nanosatellites): Juventas (bottom right) and Milani (top).
The Hera mission will explore the Didymos and Dimorphos asteroids to learn how to defend the Earth against dangerous asteroids.
Launch planned in 2024. © ESA – ScienceOffice.org


Royal Observatory of Belgium (KSB-ORB)