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A controlled reentry comes at a cost. China and SpaceX are apparently betting that the added cost of a controlled reentry vastly outweighs the cost of debris from an uncontrolled reentry resulting in significant damage. Suppose a chunk of debris kills a cow. Nobody will have a cow over this. People will have a cow if a chunk of debris kills a person. But ...


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The premise of this question is flawed First stages do not reach orbit, they are suborbital and fly on ballistic trajectories. So the question has never arisen at least up until now. It is theoretically possible to build a single stage to orbit vehicle and the Lockheed X33 experimental vehicle almost made it but was cancelled prior to being tested. https://...


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I have read the answers about deorbiting second/upper stage […] do people still care about intentionally deorbiting the first stage It doesn't matter whether it is a first stage, second stage, third stage, fourth stage, kick stage, space tug, satellite dispenser, satellite, space station, tank, or something else entirely. It is not a good idea to have ...


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