Annual Reentry Data
Objects have been reentering the atmosphere ever since we started launching hardware into space.
This figure shows the number of tracked objects, objects roughly larger than a basketball, that reentered for the years 1957 to 2012. Payloads (satellites), platforms (used to support a payload while it is being placed into orbit), and rocket bodies (like the Delta) are of most interest because of their large size. There are approximately 100 to 200 reentries of large objects each year. (Click on image to view the full-sized chart)