ESA shows radar for asteroid Dimorphos

The European Space Agency (ESA) has published a photo of the JuRa mini-radar, which will be installed on the Juventas CubeSat. The tool is designed to study the asteroid Dimorphos.

Mini radar. Source: JuRA Team / UGA

On September 26, the DART probe rammed the asteroid Dimorphos, which is a moon of the larger asteroid Didymos. As a result of the collision, the orbital period of the small body decreased by 32 minutes and it acquired a comet-like double tail with a length of 10 thousand km.

However, this is not the end of the experiment. In two years, ESA plans to launch the Hera mission. Its purpose will be to study Didymos and Dimorphos. Scientists are particularly interested in the crater that remained after the DART impact.

A model of the Juventas satellite in the test chamber. Source: ESA-P. de Maagt

Together with Hera, a pair of Juventas and Milano cubesats will also go to Dimorphos. They will be the first spacecraft of this class launched by ESA into interplanetary space. Juventas will be equipped with a JuRa radar designed to study the internal structure of the Dimorphos. It is a miniaturized version of the instrument installed on the Rosetta probe. As for the Milani cubesat, it will determine the composition of the Dimorphos surface.

Recall that astronomers recently discovered the largest potentially dangerous asteroid in recent years.

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