Impact cratering experiments into highly porous bodies

Alison Gibbings, Massimiliano Vasile

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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Asteroids represent both an opportunity and a risk. Their pristine environment captures the early collision evolution of the solar system; while their inherent ground impact potential could result in the mass extinction of life. Amongst the
many possibilities of asteroid deflection, kinematic impactors have been theoretically proven to be a promising technique. However, this is primarily based on modelling rocky, brittle bodies. Little experimental consideration has
been made for highly porous bodies. Therefore to advance current mitigation scenarios a series of experiments have been conducted. Under an accelerated reference frame this aimed to assess the impact cratering response of highly
porous asteroids. All events were examined relative to the increasing levels of porosity and the impact’s resultant morphological profile. This included crater shape and depth, and the ejecta profile. The latter was considered critical in
assessing the overall contribution to the momentum enhancement exchange of any kinematic impact event.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2011
EventIAA Planetary Defense Conference, Protecting Earth from Asteroids: From threat to Action - Bucharest, , Romania
Duration: 9 May 201112 May 2011


ConferenceIAA Planetary Defense Conference, Protecting Earth from Asteroids: From threat to Action


  • impact damage
  • porous bodies


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