/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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2021 Jun 20
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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
(SpaceTrack)
Predicted
Date
Prediction
Issued
43547    1998-067NVTEMPEST-D2021 Jun 192021 Jun 10
43640    1998-067PQSTARS-ME2021 Jun 192021 Jun 17
45749    2020-038VSTARLINK-15162021 Jun 192021 Jun 19
44074    2019-016BELECTRON KICK STAGE R/B2021 Jun 212021 Jun 17
45218    2020-012ASSTARLINK-11052021 Jun 212021 Jun 10
33450    2008-062DSL-6 R/B(2)2021 Jun 222021 Jun 19
44347    2019-036JFALCONSAT-72021 Jun 252021 Jun 17
44279    2019-029AWSTARLINK-682021 Jun 282021 Jun 17
46390    2020-063BCZ-2F R/B2021 Jun 282021 Jun 17
46739    2020-074ASTARLINK-18472021 Jun 282021 Jun 17
43451    2018-041BCZ-3B R/B2021 Jul 62021 Jun 17
29668    2006-061AMERIDIAN 12021 Jul 102021 Jun 17
46954    2020-085ABDRAGRACER 1(ALCHEMY)2021 Jul 132021 Jun 17
7004    1973-107BSL-8 R/B2021 Jul 212021 Jun 17
44375    2019-036ZOBJECT Z2021 Jul 302021 Jun 17
963    1964-086AEXPLORER 26 (EPE-D)2021 Aug 152021 Jun 17

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-
nation
Name
(Space-Track)
Estimated
Date & Time
Window Lat
(°)
Long
(°)
TIP Message
Issued
33450  2008-062DSL-6 R/B(2)2021 Jun 22 19:39±1020 minutes 2021 Jun 19 23:19
45749  2020-038VSTARLINK-15162021 Jun 19 17:35±1 minutes47.4 north105.4 east2021 Jun 19 23:26


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
Date
45749   2020-038VSTARLINK-15162021 Jun 19
25586   1998-075BARIANE 42L R/B2021 Jun 17
45218   2020-012ASSTARLINK-11052021 Jun 16
48804   2021-046BCZ-7 R/B2021 Jun 15
44187   2019-021BFALCON 9 R/B2021 Jun 15
47203   2020-089BH-2A R/B2021 Jun 13
43021   1998-067NJDELLINGR (RBLE)2021 Jun 10
48477   2021-040BBSTARLINK-26382021 Jun 2
46729   2020-073BMSTARLINK-18412021 May 28
44073   2019-016AR3D22021 May 23


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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