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High-velocity impact sample
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- Title High-velocity impact sample
- Released 16/03/2005 2:18 pm
- Copyright European Space Agency, ESA
This image shows the results of a lab test impact between a small sphere of aluminum travelling at approximately 6.8 km per sec and a block of aluminum 18 cm thick. This test simulates what can happen when a small space debris object hits a spacecraft.
Al sphere diameter: 1.2-cm
Al sphere mass: about 1.7 g
Impact crater diameter: 9.0 cm
Impact crater depth: 5.3 cm
In such an impact, the pressure and temperature can exceed those found at the centre of the Earth e.g. greater than 365 GPa and more than 6,000 K.