I found here that the entry speed of meteors reach 48 km/s. I mean just before hitting atmosphere.

What are reentry speeds for space vehicles like the lunar command module?

What about soyuz spacecraft?


That same Wikipedia article on Atmospheric entry that you link to in your question answers this later on:

... for entry from low Earth orbit where entry velocity is approximately 7.8 km/s. For lunar return entry of 11 km/s ...

And also:

The Stardust sample-return capsule was the fastest man-made object ever to reenter Earth's atmosphere (12.4 km/s or 28,000 mph at 135 km altitude).

More specifically, for Soyuz reentry see What is the maximum velocity at which Soyuz TMA-M may transit through Earth' atmosphere at reentry without a heat-shield? And for Apollo missions see Apollo by the numbers - Entry, Splashdown, and Recovery (table of contents here). Apollo 10 had the fastest maximum entry velocity at 36,397 ft/s (11.094 km/s).

Future Earth atmospheric reentry speeds might substantially increase for return missions to Mars, with entry speeds in the 15-21 km/s range, depending on trajectory and time of launch (source: A simple atmosphere reentry guidance scheme for return from the manned Mars mission, Henry C. Lessing and Robert E. Coate, 1966, NASA Ames Research Center).

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ To complement - the fastest atmospheric entry by human-made object happened not on the Earth but on Jupiter. Galileo atmospheric probe entered Jupiter's atmosphere with velocity of 47.8 kilometers per second. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_Probe $\endgroup$
    – Heopps
    Aug 26 '18 at 11:41

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