Reentry Breakup Recorder (REBR)

Since its initial conception in 2001, Aerospace’s Reentry Breakup Recorder, or REBR, has been in development to record data on space vehicles as they reenter the atmosphere and break apart by aerodynamic heating and loads. The purpose of the experiment is to help resolve the differences between predicted and observed reentry events. This can lead to improvements in spacecraft reentry breakup predictions and estimated casualty expectation accuracy, which would reduce the risk of active space objects deorbiting prematurely. REBR has been flying on various missions since 2011 and continues to fly today.

When REBR transmitted data after a fiery initial reentry on board JAXA’s HTV-2 ISS resupply vehicle, it became the first ever unprotected object to transmit data as it reentered the atmosphere. This data, along with data from other successful REBR missions, has assisted in verifying and improving reentry models worldwide. More detailed information, such as heating data of a structure mid-reentry is still desired in order to continue the study of spacecraft reentry. REBR-Wireless, also known as REBR-W, was designed to implement external sensors in addition to the internal ones in order to collect this detailed data. REBR-W will continue to fly in the pursuit of obtaining this highly desired data.


REBR Links:

REBR Background and Information

First REBR Reentry

REBR-W2 Mission

NASA’s Page on REBR




Approved for public release. OTR 2017-00313

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