/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 Oct 25
Monday, Day 298

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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
49257    2021-086BKZ-1A R/B2021 Oct 242021 Sep 30
45765    2020-038AMSTARLINK-15082021 Oct 252021 Oct 25
44360    2019-036XCP-9 LEO2021 Oct 272021 Oct 21
49327    2021-092BCZ-2F R/B2021 Nov 22021 Oct 21
47169    2020-088AZSTARLINK-18862021 Nov 42021 Oct 14
47678    2021-012BLSTARLINK-20912021 Nov 52021 Oct 21
45063    2020-006VSTARLINK-11782021 Nov 62021 Oct 21
47180    2020-088BLSTARLINK-19142021 Nov 82021 Oct 21
44361    2019-036YOBJECT Y2021 Nov 102021 Oct 21
49116    2021-077BCZ-3B R/B2021 Nov 182021 Oct 21
49053    2021-068BELECTRON R/B2021 Nov 202021 Oct 21
49063    2021-071BCZ-3B R/B2021 Nov 202021 Oct 21
45260    1998-067RDCRYOCUBE2021 Nov 282021 Oct 21
43510    1998-067NTREMOVEDEBRIS2021 Nov 302021 Oct 21
41848    2016-067AWORLDVIEW 42021 Dec 42021 Oct 21
43019    1998-067NGECAMSAT2021 Dec 142021 Oct 21
45261    1998-067REAZTECHSAT-12021 Dec 152021 Oct 21
49128    2021-081BSL-4 R/B2021 Dec 152021 Oct 21

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
45765  2020-038AMSTARLINK-15082021 Oct 25 15:47±60 minutes 2021 Oct 25 11:40

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
46379   2020-062BGSTARLINK-17562021 Oct 23
47169   2020-088AZSTARLINK-18862021 Oct 22
44031   1998-067PXUNITE2021 Oct 21
49127   2021-081ACOSMOS 25512021 Oct 20
45115   2019-071ESWAMPSAT-22021 Oct 19
44428   1998-067QNVCC A2021 Oct 18
44936   2020-001YSTARLINK-10782021 Oct 18
48159   2021-029ASOYUZ MS-182021 Oct 17
44332   1998-067QHSPOOQY12021 Oct 16
44749   2019-074ANSTARLINK-10442021 Oct 15
44431   1998-067QRVCC B2021 Oct 13
49257   2021-086BKZ-1A R/B2021 Oct 11
40659   2015-025JAEROCUBE 8A2021 Oct 11
49270   2021-089BSL-4 R/B2021 Oct 8
44330   1998-067QFUGUISU2021 Oct 7
49223   2021-085BCZ-7 R/B2021 Oct 5
49124   2021-079COBJECT C2021 Oct 4
47127   2020-088FSTARLINK-18362021 Oct 3
44281   2019-029AYSTARLINK-702021 Oct 3
46721   2020-073BDSTARLINK-18242021 Oct 3
44331   1998-067QGNEPALISAT12021 Oct 3
44329   1998-067QERAAVANA 12021 Oct 3
40660   2015-025KAEROCUBE 8B2021 Oct 2
46777   2020-074AQSTARLINK-19492021 Oct 2
49117   2021-078ADRAGON CRS-232021 Oct 1
46145   2020-057AESTARLINK-16072021 Sep 30
44962   2020-001BASTARLINK-10812021 Sep 30
46695   2020-073ABSTARLINK-17942021 Sep 29
49130   2021-082AFALCON 9 R/B2021 Sep 29
44287   2019-029BESTARLINK-762021 Sep 26

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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