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Questions tagged [deorbit]

For the use of this tag, talk about how something deorbits itself, or makes itself fall out of orbit.

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Why did SpaceX change the landing site from the Pacific (ITF-1, ITF-2) to the Indian Ocean (ITF-3 and subsequent flights)?

This statement from the FAA is quoted on https://wccftech.com/spacex-receives-faa-clearance-for-starships-third-test-5-indian-ocean-landings-planned The need for (switching landing to the) Indian ...
Woody's user avatar
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12 votes
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Quickest return from stable Earth orbit to ground?

Inspired by this Worldbuilding question about orbital deployment (deploying things to the ground from orbit): What is the quickest that something has actually deorbited and landed from a stable closed ...
kwc's user avatar
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Do the second stages for Starlink launches from Florida do a deorbit burn over Texas?

This article about "strange red glows over Texas" claims that for Starlink launches from Florida, the second stages do a deorbit burn over Texas resulting in a South Atlantic Ocean impact. ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
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Will the next deorbiting reactor be on a "safe disposal" trajectory, or re-enter as an uncontrolled derelict?

Kosmos 954 was a reconnaissance satellite launched by the Soviet Union in 1977, powered by a nuclear reactor containing 50Kg of highly enriched uranium-235 Soviet officials … lost control over the ...
Woody's user avatar
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Starship deorbit process

It does not seem to me that SpaceX will use thrusters similar to Draco to deorbit Starship, and I think firing a Raptor would be too powerful. All I can imagine is that it will use ullage gases ...
Douglas Sutherland's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
256 views

What is the fuel cost of deorbiting a kilo of space junk?

Removing debris from LEO requires a significant delta-V which most schemes propose to accomplish via rocket propulsion. Source The ratio of launch fuel to payload mass is often given as 9:1 for LOE. ...
Woody's user avatar
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What was Cassini's last image?

NASA's Cassini spacecraft made its final approach to Saturn and dove into the planet’s atmosphere on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. Loss of contact with the Cassini spacecraft took place on Sept. 15 after ...
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How long can the SpaceX Starlink satellites survive before they deorbit?

Like most Low Earth Orbits (LEOs), the Starlink satellites will eventually have their orbits decay and burn up in the Earth's atmosphere. How long, on average, will this take? I am assuming that there ...
Starship - On Strike's user avatar
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2 answers
552 views

Is there any orbital launcher capable of removing the second stage from orbit after inserting the payload satellite into LEO?

The Space Shuttle was able to place a satellite into orbit and to return to Earth. Is there any second stage that may deliver the payload satellite into LEO and do a deorbit burn after that using its ...
Uwe's user avatar
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What will happen to the parts of the ISS after they burn up?

NASA has announced that the ISS (International Space Station) will be deorbited in 2031. Even if this date is moved the space station will eventually deorbit. Once the ISS has broken into thousands of ...
Starship - On Strike's user avatar
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Why procure a separate de-orbit vehicle for the ISS? Why can't the ISS flip over and de-orbit itself?

From NASA Solidifies Planning to Deorbit ISS in 2031: ISS average altitude estimates targeting re-entry early 2021 Figure 4. shows the ISS end-of-life de-orbit altitude, cargo resupply, and de-orbit ...
uhoh's user avatar
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When will the ISS deorbit?

Is this undecided or still up for debate? Also, might it be delayed or put earlier for some reason? What about if we just abandon it?
Starship - On Strike's user avatar
5 votes
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Could the International Space Station (ISS) be refurbished to save money?

I was reading an old article about deorbiting ISS (Death Star: The ISS Doesn’t Have a Way to Crash Safely) and wondering if we could refurbish ISS instead of deorbiting it? I thought deorbiting it ...
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How does Spacex Crew Dragon capsule deorbit?

Soon the Inspiration 4 mission will launch and the crew will orbit the Earth for three days. How will the crew capsule then deorbit? Will it use the super/regular Draco thrusters?
moshevi's user avatar
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Can Mars orbiters be disposed in the atmosphere, as it is done on Earth?

There are a fair number of spacecraft currently orbiting Mars, and each will eventually reach the end of its useful life. Satellites in low Earth orbit are routinely de-orbited at the end of their ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
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Is it possible for the exhaust plume of a rocket engine burning retrograde to accelerate an object into an even higher orbit?

A couple weeks back, a debris object was catalogued in a 210x540km orbit following the deorbit burn of the Falcon 9 second stage that launched CRS-22: Hmm... possible that CRS-22's stage 2 made ...
quinnkenri's user avatar
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Would it be possible to alter the orbit of one satellite, with the exhaust plume of a rocket sufficient to deorbit it?

SpaceX plan to launch Starships towards Mars; many of them. This will involve burning hundreds to thousands of tonnes of propellant in low(ish) orbit, since each may require several refueling steps. ...
user2702772's user avatar
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If a Space Shuttle tile deorbited on its own, what percentage of it's mass if any would remain in one piece until it reached the surface of the earth?

If a Space Shuttle tile deorbited on its own, what percentage of it's mass if any would still be in one piece if and when it reached the surface of the earth? The question was inspired by one of the ...
Matthew Christopher Bartsh's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
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Does China pay for damages caused by deorbiting space junk?

When China launches a big rocket, they apparently don't control the deorbit and there are large enough pieces to strike the surface and even cause damage to buildings, as happened in the Ivory Coast ...
WBT's user avatar
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Why couldn't China's space agency do a controlled deorbit burn for the Long March 5B?

China has succeeded in launching the main module of its future space station, Tian He. Cool! The Long March 5B core that launched it is now in an uncontrolled decaying orbit. It's estimated it will ...
kim holder's user avatar
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Deorbit first stage?

I have read the answers about deorbiting second/upper stage. But since the lastest launch of Long March 5B raised concern about its uncontrolled reentry (yeah, too big). Unlike SpaceX's Falcon, other ...
Warp Scrambler's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
622 views

How much krypton do Starlink satellites carry when they are first deployed?

Starlink satellites use krypton as propellant. This answer roughly estimates 2.3 kg of Krypton based on a total delta-V of 190 m/s and an exhaust velocity of 20,000 m/s. But how close is that to ...
Joe Jobs's user avatar
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2 votes
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What will happen to Chang’e 5 orbiter?

What will happen to the Chang’e 5 orbiter which will return the collected samples to earth? Will it burn up in the atmosphere like Hayabusa, or is an extented mission planned?
RAD6000's user avatar
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55 votes
4 answers
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What impact will the deorbiting of thousands of satellites have on the atmosphere?

With the creation of mega satellite constellations like Starlink, there are several thousand satellites being launched each year. This means that as these satellites go out of order in a few years, ...
usernumber's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
206 views

Can you accurately control the reentry point by deorbiting with ion propulsion?

With decaying orbits, the point of reentry depends heavily on solar activity, and is very hard to predict or control. When there are things that could survive reentry and potentially be harmful, or ...
Speedphoenix's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
107 views

Second derivative of mean motion as indicator of deorbit

I noticed that the second derivative of mean motion (SDMM) is non-zero for only a small percentage of the NORAD catalog. All those objects I checked have reentered since the TLEs I was using were ...
Craeft's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
271 views

What fraction of Terminator Tape™'s drag comes from interaction with Earth's magnetic field as a function of altitude? Is it ever important?

This answer states that Terminator Tape™ uses the Earth's magnetic field to generate drag to shorten the deorbit time of a spacecraft in LEO. It links to https://sst-soa.arc.nasa.gov/12-passive-...
uhoh's user avatar
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332 views

Why is "Terminator Tape" electrically conductive?

A 230 foot long tape deployed from the satellite Prox-1 greatly reduced how long it took to deorbit. The tape was described as electrically conductive. Was that property intended to help the ...
Camille Goudeseune's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
685 views

Most fuel-efficient deorbit from geostationary

Say a spacecraft in geostationary orbit needs to be deorbited (not very common, but bear with me). How does one decide when and how long should the retrograde burns be, in order to have started with ...
William R. Ebenezer's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
2k views

Circular to elliptical orbit delta V requirements

this might be a dumb question, but i've been recently trying to calculate the delta V to deorbit a satellite, and I've run into a problem. Assuming a 400km circular starting orbit(and disregarding ...
T.S's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
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Is SpaceX propulsively deorbiting a Starlink satellite already?

The plot below shows that most of the SpaceX Starlink satellites have moved from circa 450 km to circa 550 kilometers already, using their krypton-based ion engines. A few, along with four ...
uhoh's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
81 views

Would it be possible to de-orbit a small object by throwing it with human strength? [duplicate]

If an astronaut went on a spacewalk (say from the ISS), tethered him/herself to a relatively massive object in orbit around the earth (say the ISS), and threw a small object in the direction opposite ...
Speedphoenix's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
1k views

How do I calculate re-entry velocity when decaying from a circular orbit?

I am trying to find the velocity of an object during re-entry so that I can calculate the peak heat flux but I'm a bit stuck. I know how to find the velocity of the original, circular orbit (300km) ...
Tom's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
3k views

Calculating a de-orbit burn, is this problem written correctly?

I'm having trouble finding the velocity and acceleration for deorbiting burn and therefore the time in seconds it takes, and I find the way the problem is written confusing, especially Determination ...
Hro djdjd's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
116 views

Could a Soyuz-MS deorbit after a failure of its deorbit engine?

The scenario: A Soyuz-MS spacecraft is on-orbit and ready for its deorbit burn. The crew then discover that there is a fault in the propulsion system and the deorbit engine can't fire. The craft is ...
Alex Hajnal's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
342 views

Why did the MESSENGER probe get deorbited?

I have heard a bit about why interplanetary probes get deorbited, but that was about Jupiter and Saturn that have potentially life-friendly moons. But regarding Mercury, no life could exist there: the ...
Wheatley Aquario's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
185 views

Where to stream online Tiangong 1 descent?

Are there going to be good free live streams of the descent and if so is there much to be seen anyway?
Nikolai Frolov's user avatar
70 votes
6 answers
34k views

Why does the ISS have to be destroyed?

ISS might be destroyed soon, de-orbiting for a controlled reentry into the Pacific Ocean. Why isn't simply pushed away from Earth to an outer stable orbit (not sure if it's possible) or even into an ...
Adriano Repetti's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
539 views

For a given amount of fuel, what is the best de-orbit profile for the ISS?

Reading this question, what is the best way to make sure most of ISS (or any other large object planned to be destroyed in the atmosphere) will burn and break into relatively small pieces in the ...
user avatar
19 votes
1 answer
8k views

Why would extra fuel be needed to de-orbit the ISS (if it comes to that)?

The BBC article The Astronaut Fighting to Save our Home in Space discusses “experienced astronaut, and astrophysicist Dr Michael Foale”'s exciting career aboard the Space Shuttle, Soyuz, Mir, and ISS, ...
uhoh's user avatar
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16 votes
2 answers
950 views

Two week mark; has Mayak (Маяк) been spotted yet? Reflector deployed? Astronomy "ruined"?

Deborah Byrd's article Have you seen the Mayak satellite? explains Mayak with a bit of humor: A team of young Russians – led by Moscow State Mechanical Engineering University (MAMI) – managed to ...
uhoh's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
165 views

Would Mayak's large solar reflector have produced a stable attitude, or more likely start tumbling or rotating?

update: Answers to Two week mark; has Mayak (Маяк) been spotted yet? Reflector deployed? Astronomy “ruined”? indicate that the reflector did not deploy successfully (more at Mayak, a magnitude -10 (...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes
1 answer
479 views

Mayak, a magnitude -10 (minus ten) satellite; how is the large, delicate reflector expanded?

The July 14, 2017 NASA Spaceflight article Soyuz 2-1A launches with Kanopus-V-IK and over 70 satellites says: Mayak is a three-unit CubeSat which was built by Tvoii Sektor Kosmosa – or “Your Sector ...
uhoh's user avatar
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