Questions tagged [deorbit]

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How long can the SpaceX Starlink satellites survive before they deorbit?

Like most Low Earth Orbits (LEOs), the satellites will probably eventually have their orbits decay and burn up in the Earth's atmosphere. How long, on average, would this take. I am assuming that ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 will the Inspiration 4 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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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10 votes
3 answers
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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. ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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-...
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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 ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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3 answers
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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 ...
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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 argon-based ion engines. A few, along with four unidentified ...
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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 ...
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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) ...
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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 ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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3 votes
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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?
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71 votes
6 answers
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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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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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, ...
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2 answers
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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 ...
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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 (...
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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 ...
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