/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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Tyneside, UK
2021 Sep 28
Tuesday, Day 271

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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.

NOTE - Names used here are as used by Space-Track rather than the more-descriptive ones in zarya.info's tables. All dates are UTC.

Anticipated Re-entries

Information comes from Space-Track. Most entries are from the 60-day decay prediction messages that are updated each week on Thursday at about 01:00 UTC. If the re-entry date has already passed then you might find the object is also in the actual re-entry list further down the page.

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 items and planned events like a Soyuz or a Dragon spacecraft returning from the ISS.

Cat No Designation Name
44287    2019-029BESTARLINK-762021 Sep 262021 Sep 24
44917    2020-001DSTARLINK-10982021 Sep 272021 Sep 9
49130    2021-082AFALCON 9 R/B2021 Sep 292021 Sep 28
46695    2020-073ABSTARLINK-17942021 Sep 292021 Sep 28
44962    2020-001BASTARLINK-10812021 Sep 302021 Sep 28
46145    2020-057AESTARLINK-16072021 Sep 302021 Sep 28
44329    1998-067QERAAVANA 12021 Oct 22021 Sep 23
46777    2020-074AQSTARLINK-19492021 Oct 22021 Sep 28
40660    2015-025KAEROCUBE 8B2021 Oct 32021 Sep 23
44281    2019-029AYSTARLINK-702021 Oct 52021 Sep 23
44331    1998-067QGNEPALISAT12021 Oct 62021 Sep 23
49223    2021-085BCZ-7 R/B2021 Oct 62021 Sep 23
44330    1998-067QFUGUISU2021 Oct 82021 Sep 23
40659    2015-025JAEROCUBE 8A2021 Oct 112021 Sep 23
44332    1998-067QHSPOOQY12021 Oct 122021 Sep 23
47127    2020-088FSTARLINK-18362021 Oct 122021 Sep 23
44431    1998-067QRVCC B2021 Oct 152021 Sep 23
44428    1998-067QNVCC A2021 Oct 182021 Sep 23
44031    1998-067PXUNITE2021 Oct 262021 Sep 23
45115    2019-071ESWAMPSAT-22021 Oct 262021 Sep 23
44360    2019-036XCP-9 LEO2021 Nov 52021 Sep 23
44361    2019-036YOBJECT Y2021 Nov 142021 Sep 23
49116    2021-077BCZ-3B R/B2021 Nov 152021 Sep 23
49063    2021-071BCZ-3B R/B2021 Nov 192021 Sep 23
49053    2021-068BELECTRON R/B2021 Nov 202021 Sep 23
41848    2016-067AWORLDVIEW 42021 Dec 62021 Sep 23

TIP Messages may already have been issued but their publication is not routine (see note at page bottom for an explanation). TIP Messages are more up to date and more precise than entries in the table and take precedence over them. Times are UTC.

Cat No Desig-
Date & Time
Window Lat
TIP Message
44962  2020-001BASTARLINK-10812021 Sep 30 03:31±540 minutes 2021 Sep 28 05:42
46145  2020-057AESTARLINK-16072021 Sep 30 06:16±600 minutes 2021 Sep 28 07:37
46695  2020-073ABSTARLINK-17942021 Sep 29 13:54±300 minutes 2021 Sep 28 14:08
46777  2020-074AQSTARLINK-19492021 Oct 2 07:03±1140 minutes 2021 Sep 28 11:22
49130  2021-082AFALCON 9 R/B2021 Sep 29 13:21±300 minutes 2021 Sep 28 13:46

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
44287   2019-029BESTARLINK-762021 Sep 26
43004   2017-069DCZ-3B R/B2021 Sep 22
44971   2020-001BKSTARLINK-10952021 Sep 20
49220   2021-084AINSPIRATION-42021 Sep 18
48852   2021-053ASZ-122021 Sep 17
47348   2021-004CELECTRON R/B2021 Sep 16
47125   2020-088DSTARLINK-17872021 Sep 13
46170   2020-057BFSTARLINK-16322021 Sep 12
46381   2020-062BJSTARLINK-17682021 Sep 12
46773   2020-074ALSTARLINK-19372021 Sep 11
47142   2020-088WSTARLINK-18552021 Sep 11
45942   2020-051DCZ-4B R/B2021 Sep 9
46697   2020-073ADSTARLINK-17962021 Sep 6
46683   2020-073PSTARLINK-17782021 Sep 4

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 'Tracking and Impact Prediction'.

The message includes an estimated latitude and longitude for when the object will go through a height of ten kilometres above the ground based on the estimated time. It is NOT an estimate of the impact point for debris. In most cases, it is meaningless in practical terms because of the length of the Window included in the message.

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 text updated - 2021 May 17
Information updated as available

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