/nUpcoming and Recent Decays and Re-entries - eventually air drag, gravity or retro-fire mean that a spacecraft or satellite is no longer able to stay in orbit. It re-enters the atmosphere to be destroyed or make a safe landing.
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Launches and Orbital Operations

Tyneside, UK
2019 Oct 22
Tuesday, Day 295

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Feeling the Heat!

Air drag and, sometimes, gravitational effects cause satellites to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere. Occasionally, re-entry is caused by a deliberate decision of a satellite owner to fire a retro-rocket and bring some part of a space vehicle back to Earth.

Most re-entries result in the vehicle being destroyed by frictional heating as it passes through the Earth's atmosphere. Some fragments may get through and hit the Earth's surface - hence the system of TIP messages to warn of the event. Only a space vehicle fitted with a heat shield will get through the atmosphere for a landing.

NOTES - Names used on this page are as used by Space-Track rather than the more-descriptive ones in zarya.info's tables. Dates and times are UTC.

Anticipated Re-entries

Below are re-entries expected over the next few weeks. The table includes only natural re-entries of satellites and rocket bodies. It excludes debris itens and planned events like a Soyuz spacecraft returning from the ISS.

Information comes from Space-Track. Most entries are from the 60-day prediction messages that are updated each week on Thursday at about 01:00 UTC but some are extracted from TIP Messages. Some objects may already have found their way into the list of recent orbital decays further down the page.

Cat No Designation Name (SpaceTrack) Predicted
39392    2013-064NSENSE SV22019 Oct 292019 Oct 16
39068    2013-003ASTSAT 2C2019 Nov 152019 Oct 16
42711    1998-067LSALTAIR PATHFINDER2019 Dec 112019 Oct 16

TIP Messages may already have appeared but their publication is not routine. TIP Messages are more up to date and more precise than entries in the table above and take precedence over them. The list is updated frequently.

Cat No Designation Name (Space-Track) Estimated
Date & Time
Window TIP Message

There are no forward-looking TIP Messages from Space-Track at present.

Recent Re-entries

This table lists major re-entries that occurred in the last 30 days, whether natural or deliberate. Information is provided by Space-Track and the list is updated frequently.

Cat No Designation Name (SpaceTrack) Actual
44442   2019-042BGSLV R/B2019 Oct 16
9927   1977-021DSL-6 R/B(2)2019 Oct 15
42914   1998-067NDTNS 0-22019 Oct 15
38999   2012-064CXINYAN 1 (XY-1)2019 Oct 5
41325   2016-006CCZ-3C R/B2019 Oct 4
44069   2019-013ASOYUZ MS-122019 Oct 3
43066   2017-082BSLATS2019 Oct 1
44551   2019-064BSL-4 R/B2019 Sep 28

If a TIP Message was issued after re-entry, it is listed below. Sometimes there may be a delay between the final TIP message and the re-entry being formally logged in the Catalogue so a Message here may relate to a re-entry that has not yet moved from the 'Anticipated' list at the top of this page.

Where the 'Window' is a very small number of minutes, it indicates that the satellite may have been transmitting radio signals and was being tracked at the time it was destroyed, or that the fireball was observed and reported.

Cat No Designation Name (Space-Track) Estimated
Date & Time
Window TIP Message
9927  1977-021DSL-6 R/B(2)2019 Oct 15 15:57±1 minutes2019 Oct 15 16:46
41325  2016-006CCZ-3C R/B2019 Oct 4 20:04±1 minutes2019 Oct 4 22:52
43066  2017-082BSLATS2019 Oct 1 14:41±23 minutes2019 Oct 1 17:20
44338  2019-035BCZ-3B R/B2019 Oct 22 11:33±1 minutes2019 Oct 22 12:12
44442  2019-042BGSLV R/B2019 Oct 16 10:28±1 minutes2019 Oct 16 10:58
44551  2019-064BSL-4 R/B2019 Sep 28 14:22±1 minutes2019 Sep 28 14:48

Note on TIP Messages

Close to re-entry time for many items, SpaceTrack issues TIP Messages with a more-precise warning of the event. The meaning of the 'TIP' acronym is lost in history but SpaceTrack has made a guess at "Tracking and Impact Prediction".

”Time and Impact Prediction” is also more than possible.

TIP Messages are often a source of confusion as people take the predicted time literally and ignore the error margin (Window) that is also part of the message. In 2011 RIA-Novosti used a TIP Message, issued several weeks in advance, to pinpoint a village in North Africa, doggedly insisting that it would feel the full force of of Phobos-Grunt’s re-entry. SpaceTrack's Window was ±2 days, representing over one million kilometres of ground track and a large proportion of the Earth's surface between 52° North and 52° South.

Page date - 2019 Oct 22

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