/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
2021 Dec 8
Wednesday, Day 342

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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.

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
Date UTC
Issued UTC
43510    1998-067NTREMOVEDEBRIS2021 Dec 72021 Nov 18
48006    2021-024AFSTARLINK-22772021 Dec 72021 Nov 18
43019    1998-067NGECAMSAT2021 Dec 82021 Dec 2
48001    2021-024AASTARLINK-22622021 Dec 82021 Nov 18
35870    2009-049FSUMBANDILA2021 Dec 102021 Dec 2
45261    1998-067REAZTECHSAT-12021 Dec 102021 Dec 2
49128    2021-081BSL-4 R/B2021 Dec 112021 Dec 8
44370    2019-037FSPACEBEE-92021 Dec 172021 Dec 2
13770    1983-003ACOSMOS 14372021 Dec 202021 Dec 2
44916    2020-001CSTARLINK-10972021 Dec 202021 Dec 2
46555    2020-070ZSTARLINK-16742021 Dec 202021 Dec 2
47364    2021-005RSTARLINK-20792021 Dec 202021 Dec 2
47413    2021-006ASTARLINK-21992021 Dec 202021 Dec 2
47417    2021-006ESTARLINK-22032021 Dec 202021 Dec 2
49386    2021-099DYZ-1S R/B2021 Dec 202021 Dec 2
43777    2018-099VLACMA ENOCH2021 Dec 212021 Dec 2
43044    2017-071HCHEFSAT2021 Dec 242021 Dec 2
49502    2021-112BKZ-1A R/B2021 Dec 242021 Dec 2
44792    1998-067QXNARSSCUBE-12021 Dec 252021 Dec 2
46339    2020-062QSTARLINK-17572021 Dec 282021 Nov 25
46924    1998-067RUOBJECT RU2022 Jan 12021 Dec 2
49405    2021-102LEPSILON R/B2022 Jan 52021 Dec 2
47970    2021-023FELECTRON R/B2022 Jan 62021 Dec 2

Recent TIP Messages

Publication of TIP messages is not a matter of routine and they are not issued for all re-entries. They are more up to date and more precise than entries in the table and take precedence over them.

Readers unfamiliar with how to interpret TIP messages are recommended to read the Note at the bottom of the page.

Sometimes there may be a delay between the final TIP message and the re-entry being formally logged in Space-Track's Catalogue so a Message here may relate to a re-entry that has not yet moved from the 'Anticipated' list to the 'Recent' list.

Cat No &
Date & Time UTC
Lat, Long & Heading
(100 km altitude)
TIP Message
Issued UTC
STARLINK-31232021 Dec 1 15:52
± 840 minutes
2021 Nov 28 18:05
SL-4 R/B2021 Dec 11 01:10
± 840 minutes
2021 Dec 8 01:38
STARLINK-17572021 Dec 4 08:12
± 10 minutes
49°.4 south, 165°.3 west
northbound, ± 0.11 orbits
2021 Dec 4 09:47

Recent Re-entries

This table is extracted from Space-Track's Catalogue and lists major re-entries that occurred in the last 30 days, whether natural or deliberate. The list is updated every few hours.

Cat No Designation Name (SpaceTrack) Date UTC
46339   2020-062QSTARLINK-17572021 Dec 4
49429   2021-104XSTARLINK-31232021 Dec 1
49472   2021-106DELECTRON R/B2021 Nov 30
41848   2016-067AWORLDVIEW 42021 Nov 30
48001   2021-024AASTARLINK-22622021 Nov 29
48006   2021-024AFSTARLINK-22772021 Nov 29
47160   2020-088AQSTARLINK-18752021 Nov 29
45216   2020-012AQSTARLINK-12542021 Nov 27
49500   2021-111BSL-4 R/B2021 Nov 26
48869   2021-057APROGRESS MS-172021 Nov 25
44935   2020-001XSTARLINK-10722021 Nov 23
45260   1998-067RDCRYOCUBE2021 Nov 23
46369   2020-062AWSTARLINK-16622021 Nov 23
44919   2020-001FSTARLINK-11012021 Nov 23
49063   2021-071BCZ-3B R/B2021 Nov 22
49473   2021-106EELECTRON KICK STAGE R/B2021 Nov 22
49053   2021-068BELECTRON R/B2021 Nov 15
46762   2020-074ZSTARLINK-19012021 Nov 14
46676   2020-073GSTARLINK-17312021 Nov 13
49116   2021-077BCZ-3B R/B2021 Nov 13
46724   2020-073BGSTARLINK-18272021 Nov 11
48209   2021-030ADRAGON ENDEAVOUR 22021 Nov 9

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 10 kilometres (definition - Space-Track) above the ground based on the estimated time. It is a rough indication of where debris might fall given that horizontal velocity will have reduced to near-zero at that height because of air resistance. In most cases, it is meaningless in practical terms because of length of the Window included in the message covers a long track across the Earth's surface.

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 information updated as available

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