CELESTA, the first CERN technology demonstrator in space

A cube measuring only 10 x 10 x 10 cm, CELESTA is a CubeSat – a nanosatellite standard – that will validate the Space RadMon in flight conditions. Soon to be launched on a Vega-C rocket, CELESTA will operate close to the centre of the inner Van Allen radiation belt, measuring the effects on electronics of the local fluxes of high-energy particles. This flagship project will also show the effectiveness of an innovative low-cost ground validation approach for microsatellites, based on radiation testing at system-level.


CELESTA marks a milestone in the development of CERN aerospace applications
CELESTA satellite
CELESTA satellite (Image: CERN)

A great educational project

The microsatellite is developed in collaboration with the Centre Spatial of Montpellier University and involves many students from this university and CERN. The European Space Agency (ESA) will provide the launch opportunity in the frame of the “Fly Your Satellite!” educational programme.

A dedicated radiation model of CELESTA was tested and calibrated in the CHARM irradiation facility, at CERN. It was the first ever system level test of a full satellite.

Learn more about aerospace applications