Space Travel and Exploration

Why do spacecraft have to enter the earths atmosphere at such high speeds?

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Wiki User
2010-08-29 16:03:45

The problem is fuel. In space, there are no brakes, nothing to

slow you down - except the thrust of your own rockets. Fuel is

scarce and precious (like everything else in space) and at the end

of the trip, there isn't any left. So the only way to slow down is

to skim lightly through the upper layers of the atmosphere, and

allow friction between the spacecraft and the upper atmosphere to

slow you down.

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