/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 Jul 27
Tuesday, Day 208

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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
46367    2020-062AUSTARLINK-16522021 Jul 252021 Jul 25
7004    1973-107BSL-8 R/B2021 Jul 262021 Jul 14
48866    2021-056BSL-4 R/B2021 Jul 262021 Jul 26
44375    2019-036ZOBJECT Z2021 Jul 282021 Jul 22
48457    2021-040AFSTARLINK-25292021 Jul 282021 Jul 27
44958    2020-001AWSTARLINK-10752021 Jul 292021 Jul 27
45070    2020-006ACSTARLINK-11642021 Jul 302021 Jul 26
45200    2020-012YSTARLINK-11982021 Jul 312021 Jul 27
46736    2011-037NDFREGAT R/B2021 Aug 92021 Jul 22
49045    2021-066BSL-25 R/B2021 Aug 92021 Jul 22
44429    1998-067QPENTRYSAT2021 Aug 132021 Jul 22
39403    2013-064ZHO'OPONOPONO 22021 Aug 142021 Jul 22
43637    2018-075BKZ-1A R/B2021 Aug 182021 Jul 22
963    1964-086AEXPLORER 26 (EPE-D)2021 Aug 222021 Jul 22
46139    2020-057YSTARLINK-15922021 Aug 222021 Jul 22
45942    2020-051DCZ-4B R/B2021 Sep 132021 Jul 22
43004    2017-069DCZ-3B R/B2021 Sep 192021 Jul 22
46057    2020-055AGSTARLINK-15622021 Sep 192021 Jul 22
47348    2021-004CELECTRON R/B2021 Sep 192021 Jul 22

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
44958  2020-001AWSTARLINK-10752021 Jul 29 10:35±600 minutes 2021 Jul 27 11:08
45200  2020-012YSTARLINK-11982021 Jul 31 07:48±1080 minutes 2021 Jul 27 13:51
48457  2021-040AFSTARLINK-25292021 Jul 28 03:48±240 minutes 2021 Jul 27 15:22
48866  2021-056BSL-4 R/B2021 Jul 26 17:32±1 minutes49.9 north277 east2021 Jul 26 22:01

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
46367   2020-062AUSTARLINK-16522021 Jul 25
7004   1973-107BSL-8 R/B2021 Jul 24
46954   2020-085ABDRAGRACER 1(ALCHEMY)2021 Jul 19
46587   2020-070BHSTARLINK-17442021 Jul 18
46739   2020-074ASTARLINK-18472021 Jul 14
47893   2021-021AKSTARLINK-23532021 Jul 11
48831   2021-048ADRAGON CRS-222021 Jul 10
48156   2019-022PAC 10 PROBE(JACKIE)2021 Jul 8
43451   2018-041BCZ-3B R/B2021 Jul 7
29668   2006-061AMERIDIAN 12021 Jul 6
47132   2020-088LSTARLINK-18422021 Jul 5
48853   2021-053BCZ-2F R/B2021 Jul 3
48870   2021-057BSL-4 R/B2021 Jul 2
47689   2021-013ACYGNUS NG-152021 Jul 2
44347   2019-036JFALCONSAT-72021 Jul 2
46390   2020-063BCZ-2F R/B2021 Jul 1
45737   2020-038HSTARLINK-14732021 Jun 28

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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