Gravity Re entry scene YouTube
Atmospheric entry
is the movement of an object into and through the gases of a planet's atmosphere from outer space.

It is seen from inside the Soyuz in great, accurate detail at the end of Gravity.


There are two main types of atmospheric entry - uncontrolled entry, such as in the entry of celestial objects, space debris or bolides - and controlled entry, such as the entry (or reentry) of technology capable of being navigated or following a predetermined course.

Atmospheric drag and aerodynamic heating can cause atmospheric breakup capable of completely disintegrating smaller objects. These forces may cause objects with lower compressive strength to explode. For Earth, atmospheric entry occurs above the Kármán Line at an altitude of more than 100 km above the surface while Venus atmospheric entry occurs at 250 km and Mars atmospheric entry at about 80 km. Uncontrolled, objects accelerate through the atmosphere at extreme velocities under the influence of Earth's gravity. Most controlled objects enter at hypersonic speeds due to their suborbital (e.g. ICBM reentry vehicles), orbital (e.g. the Space Shuttle), or unbounded (e.g. meteors) trajectories. Various advanced technologies have been developed to enable atmospheric reentry and flight at extreme velocities. An alternative, low velocity, method of controlled atmospheric entry is buoyancy which is suitable for planetary entry where thick atmospheres, strong gravity or both factors complicates high-velocity hyperbolic entry, such as the atmospheres of Venus, Titan and the gas giants.

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