The nonequilibrium chemical reaction of dissociation and recombination is studied theoretically for air in the viscous shock layer at the stagnation region af axisymmetric bodies. The flight regime considered is for speeds near satellite speed and for altitudes between 200,000 and 300,000 feet. The convective heat transfer to noncatalytic walls is obtained. The effects of nose radius, wall temperature, and flight altitude on the chemical state of the shock layer are studied. An analysis is also made on the simultaneous effect of nonequilibrium chemical reaction and air rarefaction on the shock layer thickness.