Reentry Predictions

Upcoming and Recent Reentries    |   2013   |   2012   |    2011    |    2010    |

These pages provide links to predicted reentry times for large satellites and substantial space hardware such as launch stages and payload platforms. The focus is on objects which are reentering as a result of natural orbit decay, not objects which are intentionally deorbited.

Prediction reentry times and locations are updated daily within the final five days of orbit life.  For longer-term predictions and a more complete list, see the Space-Track website (https://www.space-track.org ).

The information provided for each reentry includes a map showing the ground track of the object. The ground track highlights the location along the Earth’s surface where the reentry is expected to occur and where a ground-based observer might see the object as it breaks apart because of atmospheric heating and loads.

This map is created by locating the vehicle in orbit at the predicted reentry time and extending the ground track forward and backward in time, consistent with the estimated error in the prediction. The map indicates the final reentry location as reported by eyewitness sightings, when available.

It should be noted that, in general, reentry predictions can be expected to be in error by 10 percent to 20 percent or more; thus, there is substantial uncertainty as to where reentry will actually occur. Generally, a prediction made 100 days in advance can be off by 10 days, and one made 10 days in advance can be off a day.  Once reentry does occur, debris will spread over a long track on the ground.

Hazard to people or property from reentering space hardware is very limited. No known reports of death from such events have ever been received.

See our FAQs page for more information on reentry breakup and related hazards.

If you witness the reentry of any objects noted on this page, please send an e-mail to the address below and provide the location, the time of the event, and the apparent direction of motion of the debris. This information will help us improve our predictions for future reentries.

We are interested in examining debris which has survived reentry. Should you find what you believe is debris from a reentering spacecraft, please e-mail a description and explain why you believe it is reentry debris. If possible, please include an image of the object.

We also maintain a list of recovered reentry debris. If you are aware of recovered debris not appearing on our list, please e-mail a description of the debris, and provide references to supporting evidence, e.g., news articles, government reports, photographs, etc. We will add sufficiently corroborated events to our list.

NOTICE: The materials about reentry predictions are for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for specific technical advice or opinions related to your particular facts and circumstances.


Other Reentry Prediction Information:

Space Track
http://www.space-track.org