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Atmospheric drag is the atmospheric force (friction) acting opposite to the relative motion of an object. Atmospheric drag is particularly important for space flight and research as it both hinders an object (often a rocket-propelled craft) exiting the atmosphere, and also pulls orbital objects back towards Earth over time.

Space stations like the International Space Station (ISS), space shuttles, and low earth orbit (LEO) satellites all must take corrective measures to account for and correct atmospheric drag forces. Learn more about the ISS here.