Physical Properties of Exploration Targets

Meteorites are small samples of potential exploration targets, such as asteroids, that have fallen to the Earth’s surface from space. CLASS will supplement ongoing measurements into meteorite density, porosity, and magnetic susceptibility with a new set of experiments to learn their secrets. Thermal properties, strength, hydration state, and stress-strain relationships will be measured, and new models developed to test how these parameters affect the physical characteristics of the parent objects. These data are fundamental parameters for the planning of observations, development of mission hardware, mission operations requirements, mission safety, and the comparative planetology of small bodies.