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Asteroids pp 271-286 | Cite as

Rubble-Pile Near Earth Objects: Insights from Granular Physics

Chapter

Abstract

Most Near Earth Objects (NEOs) are composed of fractured rock, sometimes highly fractured and porous, and they have come to be known as rubble piles (Britt 2001; Fujiwara et al. 2006). The constituent particles, ranging from millimeters up to tens of meters, are weakly held together as an aggregate by a combination of both gravitational and van der Waals forces, which can be of comparable strength (Scheers et al. 2010). Future missions to these rubble NEOs, whether human or robotic, will need to operate in such a way that they can safely and successfully probe a fragile object. Of key importance is the ability to predict and control the circumstances under which the NEO material will remain intact or become unstable during activities such as digging, sample-collection, anchoring, or lift-off.

Keywords

Granular Material Granular Medium Granular Flow Physical Review Letter Force Chain 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.North Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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