posted on Nov, 10 2013 @ 03:37 PM
reply to post by Riffrafter
Does anyone know at what point altitude-wise that its orbit would start decaying rapidly and its rate of descent really starts to pick up?
Not asking where that happens, just at what point altitude-wise it would happen.
Hard to say. Something I read said the earths atmosphere is not smooth. Like the surface of the earth there are bumps and valleys. As the craft nears
the top of these "peaks" it will be like driving your car along the beach. As long as you drive on the sand you maintain speed, as soon as you touch
the edge of the surf, the car slows down and then speeds up again when you pass thru the wave. If you could see the craft from the ground it would
appear to light up for a moment and then go out, light up, go out.
Thats the initial phase of reentry into the atmosphere. Those are "braking" moments for the craft and it will be caught by the atmosphere quicker at
that point. I don't know how high that it is.