March 10, 2022


The Collisions Into Dust Experiment (COLLIDE) was an experiment designed specifically for microgravity environments to investigate dust production in planetary rings by simulating planetary ring particle collisions at low-velocities. It was originally designed as a Get Away Special (GAS) payload to fly on space shuttle Columbia and successfully flew in April 1998 on STS-90.

COLLIDE’s experiments studied collisions between particles in microgravity to better understand how planets and rings formed. During each COLLIDE experiment, a marble sized sphere was launched into a very fine powder and very low speeds. The impacts were video recorded for post-experiment evaluation.

When collisions are slower than 20 cm/s, the impacting particle sticks to the powder surface. Particles moving at these speeds can easily lead to planetary growth.


COLLIDE-1 Publications:

Low-Velocity Microgravity Impact Experiments into Simulated Regolith