How fast will debris be moving when it lands?

In general, debris from satellites and rocket bodies will be falling straight down and will impact the ground at relatively low velocities. Just as air will slow a piece of paper more than it will a lead ball, a light piece of debris (such as a bit of insulation) will slow rapidly and hit the ground at a slower speed than a heavier piece of debris. In general, impact velocities will range from about 30 km/hr for lightweight debris to 300 km/hr or more for heavier objects. You might also expect that local winds will blow a light piece of debris more off-track than a heavier chunk. The wind does spread out the falling debris, making it more difficult to find surviving material on the ground.

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