History Main / FrictionlessReentry

8th May '16 2:53:31 PM FurryKef
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** Contrary to popular belief, Friction contributes a relatively little amount of heat to reentry. The majority of the heat generated is actually from atmospheric compression, the spacecraft is moving so fast that the air in front of it can't get out of the way fast enough, so it gets squeezed, and when you squeeze a gas, you increase its temperature. Of course, most spacecraft do this ''on purpose'', as it's the easiest and cheapest way to slow the craft down enough that it doesn't [[NotTheFallThatKillsYou vaporize on contact with the surface of the planet]].

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** Contrary to popular belief, Friction contributes a relatively little amount of heat to reentry. The majority of the heat generated is actually from atmospheric compression, the spacecraft is moving so fast that the air in front of it can't get out of the way fast enough, so it gets squeezed, and when you squeeze a gas, you increase its temperature. Of course, most Most spacecraft do this ''on purpose'', as it's the easiest and cheapest way to slow the craft down enough that it doesn't [[NotTheFallThatKillsYou vaporize on contact with the surface of the planet]].
19th Jan '16 8:04:31 PM Adept
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** In ''MobileSuitGundamSEEDAstray'', Lowe and the Red Frame ends up facing this problem when a fight with the Gold Frame sends him hurtling into the gravity well of Earth. His Junk Guild buddies, however, use their ship and the massive amount of junk they gathered as a shield to grab Lowe and ride it out to Earth. They wreck their ship in the process, though.

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** In ''MobileSuitGundamSEEDAstray'', ''Manga/MobileSuitGundamSEEDAstray'', Lowe and the Red Frame ends up facing this problem when a fight with the Gold Frame sends him hurtling into the gravity well of Earth. His Junk Guild buddies, however, use their ship and the massive amount of junk they gathered as a shield to grab Lowe and ride it out to Earth. They wreck their ship in the process, though.
25th Nov '15 11:48:01 AM petersohn
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* Fully {{Averted| Trope}} in ''VideoGame/KerbalSpaceProgram'' as of version 1.0, which adds heating to the previously present slowdown effects of drag, necessitating heat shields to prevent burning up on re-entry. Note that the same effects can be achieved by ''any'' high-speed atmospheric travel, not just re-entry.

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* Fully {{Averted| Trope}} in ''VideoGame/KerbalSpaceProgram'' as of version 1.0, which adds heating to the previously present slowdown effects of drag, necessitating heat shields to prevent burning up on re-entry. Note that the same effects can be achieved by ''any'' high-speed atmospheric travel, not just re-entry. As with everything, the effects of re-entry is downplayed in the game: as long as you have a heat shield, it's safe to re-enter the atmosphere (unless you re-enter so steep that you can't slow down enough to be safe to deploy the parachutes until you hit the ground), even if you are somewhat off-angle.
16th Oct '15 8:14:47 AM Kitch
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16th Oct '15 8:13:41 AM Kitch
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** In the first episode of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing'', Heero's Wing Gundam is shown undergoing re-entry heating while approaching Earth. It would make sense that the Gundams built for Operation Meteor would be made to withstand such heating since they were built on the space colonies for the purpose of going to Earth.
16th Sep '15 12:55:44 PM Agent333
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** Contrary to popular belief, Friction contributes a relatively little amount of heat to reentry. The majority of the heat generated is actually from atmospheric compression, the spacecraft is moving so fast that the air in front of it can't get out of the way fast enough, so it gets squeezed, and when you squeeze a gas, you increase its temperature. Of course, most spacecraft do this ''on purpose'', as it's the easiest and cheapest way to slow the craft down enough that it doesn't [[NotTheFallThatKillsYou vaporize on contact with the surface of the planet]].
7th Sep '15 10:46:14 AM nombretomado
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** Other parts of the SWEU, including some books in the same series, use the friction of atmospheric reentry in various ways. Attaching extra hulls to burn up during the descent lets a squadron of X-Wings disguise itself as part of a meteorite shower, letting them infiltrate a hostile world. In the NewJediOrder, the Wraiths have developed single-person reentry pods with ablation shielding for basically the same purpose.

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** Other parts of the SWEU, including some books in the same series, use the friction of atmospheric reentry in various ways. Attaching extra hulls to burn up during the descent lets a squadron of X-Wings disguise itself as part of a meteorite shower, letting them infiltrate a hostile world. In the NewJediOrder, Literature/NewJediOrder, the Wraiths have developed single-person reentry pods with ablation shielding for basically the same purpose.
12th Jul '15 1:05:27 PM harlbior
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[[folder: Real Life]]
* Generally, this trope is averted in Real Life for spacecraft, since objects moving at orbital speeds move fast enough that when they re-enter the atmosphere, friction with Earth's atmosphere heats their hull significantly (a TruthInTelevision example of {{Friction Burn}}). However, objects can drop from a significant height without burning up if they're not moving at orbital speeds. [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Bull_Stratos The Red Bull Stratos]] space diving stunt had an astronaut jump from a helium balloon 39 KM from the surface of the Earth. While this arguably isn't re-entry from space, it's re-entry from the stratosphere into the troposphere, which didn't cause the astronaut to burst into flames.
* Study of the Moon has revealed that yes, [[https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LADEE/news/lunar-atmosphere.html#.VaLGV_nsl9Q the moon indeed has an atmosphere, albeit a thin one.]] That means that all of the (successful) Apollo missions technically {{Played Straight}}, then {{Averted}}, this trope in succession.
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12th Jul '15 12:39:53 PM harlbior
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* Averted in ''Film/{{Apollo 13}}'' as TruthInTelevision.
* Averted in ''Film/{{Gravity}}'', when [[spoiler: Dr. Stone flies the Chinese capsule from Tiangong back to Earth.]] It's far from smooth.
* Averted in ''Film/{{Guardians Of The Galaxy}}''. When Ronan's spaceship enters the atmosphere of a planet, the surface of the ship glows red-hot. It's such a massive ship, however, that its sheer mass allows it to continue with no ill effects.
* Averted in ''Film/{{Interstellar}}'', although the effects of re-entry are downplayed from {{Friction Burn}} to "a bad bout of turbulence".
9th Jul '15 4:47:13 PM nombretomado
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* The {{Macross}} franchise does deal with the friction of re-entry on occasion.

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* The {{Macross}} ''Anime/{{Macross}}'' franchise does deal with the friction of re-entry on occasion.



** While it does generate a lot of heat the YF-19 shows just how far craft have come in {{Macross Plus}} since it not only makes a safe re-entry but it does so completely unpowered and spinning uncontrollably while trying to avoid the orbital defence satellites.
** Also comes up in the final battle of MacrossFrontier [[TheMovie Sayonara no Tsubasa]] when its commented that the Macross Quarter will burn up if they enter the atmosphere at full speed. So they make sure to get behind a large piece of debris to use as a heat shield. [[CrazyAwesome Then they proceed to]] ''[[SkySurfing sky surf it]].''

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** While it does generate a lot of heat the YF-19 shows just how far craft have come in {{Macross Plus}} ''Anime/{{Macross Plus}}'' since it not only makes a safe re-entry but it does so completely unpowered and spinning uncontrollably while trying to avoid the orbital defence satellites.
** Also comes up in the final battle of MacrossFrontier ''Anime/MacrossFrontier: [[TheMovie Sayonara no Tsubasa]] Tsubasa]]'' when its commented that the Macross Quarter will burn up if they enter the atmosphere at full speed. So they make sure to get behind a large piece of debris to use as a heat shield. [[CrazyAwesome Then they proceed to]] ''[[SkySurfing sky surf it]].''
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.FrictionlessReentry