Meteors, Planes, Satellites and the Atmosphere

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posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 10:44 AM
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So how come satellites and meteors can burst into flames when entering the atmosphere but airplanes seem to do just fine? Obviously meteors are travelling faster but don't satellites fall at normal speed?

I'm sure it's a simple answer i jsut don't know what it is.




posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 10:52 AM
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I'm assuming you're talking about the shuttle, last time I checked no airplane has left the atmosphere.

The reason the shuttle can re-enter without breaking up is from the protective tiles placed on it's belly, that combined with a fairly specific re-entry process to reduce speed and heat.



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 10:56 AM
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no, regular airplanes. they're already in the atmosphere so why don't they burst into flames? is it more dense higher up or something that makes it more dangerous? how can a satellite burst into flames in free fall?

am i totally off base here or what. gotta be missing something.



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 11:18 AM
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reply to post by Mozzy
 


Mozzy, I'll bite.....

Do you know how fast satellites, in orbit, are travelling?

It will vary by height....but we're talking 17,000 to 18,000 MPH, in order to remain on orbit. When their orbit begins to decay, the tremendous speeds produce a huge amount of frictional heat.

As Chadwickus pointed out, indeed the Shuttle is travelling at similar velocities, but is protected by specially made ceramic tiles on the undersurfaces and leading edges.

[edit on 3/16/0909 by weedwhacker]



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 11:21 AM
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reply to post by Mozzy
 


They don't fly high enough or fast enough...

Plus they can't re-enter the atmosphere if they never left it.


[edit on 16-3-2009 by Chadwickus]



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 11:23 AM
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The speed mainly, planes dont create enough friction to ignite in our atmosphere.



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 11:34 AM
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reply to post by Mozzy
 


they all fly in different parts of the atmosphere ... here's a good visual



The highest an airplane has ever flown is 85,135 feet
Source

Shuttles usually fly at altitudes between 185 km (115 miles) and 960 km (596.5 miles). The actual altitude it flies for any given mission depends on their target. For example the International Space Station is 180-190 miles up, while the Hubble Space Telescope is 360-370 miles up.
Source

Which if you do the math is a lot higher then the planes ... and since they are higher, the shuttles/satellites/meteors experience much more friction/heat when re-entering the atmosphere ... shuttles are designed as chadwickus said to not ignite in the atmosphere



[edit on 16-3-2009 by baseball101]



posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 12:09 PM
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ok so it's because satellites move real fast.

thanks.





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