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Why do spaceships not burn up when they re-enter the atmosphere?
- Anonymous9 years agoFavorite Answer
The space craft have ablative ceramic heat shields.
ablation (ā-blā'shən) Pronunciation Key
The wearing away or destruction of the outer or forward surface of an object, such as a meteorite or a spacecraft, as it moves very rapidly through the atmosphere. The friction of the air striking the object heats and often melts or burns its outer layers. Spacecraft and missiles are often equipped with heat shields designed to wear away by ablation in order to prevent heat from building up in structurally important parts.
The process by which snow and ice are removed from a glacier or other mass of ice. Ablation typically occurs through melting, sublimation, wind erosion, or calving. ◇ The ablation zone is the area of a glacier that has the lowest elevation, where annual water loss is greater than the annual accumulation of snow.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
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- Randy PLv 79 years ago
They have heat shields. Remember the Columbia shuttle disaster? That's what happens when there's even a tiny hole in the heat shields.
We do know how to make things to survive high heat, for instance the buckets that hold molten iron.
- PrometheusLv 79 years ago
the shuttle has a special material on the nose which negates the effects of heat and friction.Source(s): shuttle
- Paul BLv 69 years ago
Because they have been designed to withstand the pressure
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- Anonymous9 years ago
Some do, some don't