The upper atmosphere model draws heavily on the behavior of the earth's upper atmosphere which exhibits cyclic as well as irregular variations in density profile, temperature, pressure, and composition in unison with solar activities as deduced from the more recent land-based and satellite observations. The lift and drag model is designed specifically for inertially stabilized vehicles of the Mariner class, with possible extension to gravity gradient stabilized vehicles of the GEOS class. The model considers operation in the free molecular flow regimes with large Knudsen numbers. The vehicle is considered a composite structure with basic components having well-defined shapes, each with its own surface characteristics in terms of temperature, reflectivity, and accommodation of free stream molecules. The model takes into account both the calculation of precise aerodynamic force coefficients in terms of expansion of modified Bessel functions in speed ratios and angle of attack, and approximate force coefficients when the speed ratios approach infinity. Other considerations include specular and diffused reflectivity, shielding, and shadow effects.