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?


1 Answer 1


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).

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    $\begingroup$ 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, 2018 at 11:41

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