Albert Zijlstra, an astrophysics professor at the University of Manchester who was not involved in the study, told CNN that the "very thorough" research could offer a new understanding about the composition of asteroids.
"It may help explain why some asteroids appear to be rubble piles, fragmented by collisions," he said. "The study finds that asteroids can survive quite significant collisions, and keep much of their mass, but very broken up."
The study may also provide insight into the origins of the solar system. "At that time, planets were beginning to grow, starting as dust grains and becoming pebbles, rocks, mountains and finally proto-planets," Zijlstra said. "There were lots of collision between them. This study may help understand how they survived these collisions."