How much material from a satellite will survive reentry?

Generally, about 10-40 percent of a satellite’s mass will survive reentry. The actual percentage for a specific object depends on the materials used in the object’s construction and on shape, size, and weight of the reentering object. For example, if the object consists of empty fuel tanks made of stainless steel or titanium, both of which have high melting temperatures, much of this material will survive. If much of the structure is made of aluminum, which has a low melting temperature, a smaller percentage will survive.

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