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backscattering

Overview page. Subjects: Warfare and Defence — Astronomy and Astrophysics.

The phenomenon that occurs when radiation is scattered predominantly backwards along its original path. Rayleigh scattering and Thomson scattering generate equal amounts of forward and...

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ballistic trajectory

Overview page. Subjects: Warfare and Defence — Astronomy and Astrophysics.

The curved flight path of a spacecraft after the launch vehicle's power has ended. The launching of early spacecraft had to be configured carefully to follow the correct ballistic...

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countdown

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics — Warfare and Defence.

N. the step-by-step process leading to the initiation of missile testing, launching, and firing. It is performed in accordance with a predesignated time schedule.

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cutoff

Overview page. Subjects: Warfare and Defence — Astronomy and Astrophysics.

A time when a rocket engine's propellant is turned off.

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flight deck

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics — Warfare and Defence.

1 the cockpit of a large aircraft from which the pilot and crew fly it.

2 the deck of an aircraft carrier, used for takeoff and landing.

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flight path

Overview page. Subjects: Warfare and Defence — Astronomy and Astrophysics.

The actual or planned course of a spacecraft. The specific direction is the imaginary line followed by the centre of the spacecraft's mass.

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flight plan

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics — Warfare and Defence.

The written instructions for the general control of the spacecraft and for planned events. A space shuttle flight plan is hundreds of pages long. Crew members study a flight plan, including...

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footprint

Overview page. Subjects: Warfare and Defence — Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Of a satellite or spacecraft, the area of the Earth or other body that is being imaged by its instruments, or over which its signals can be received.

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General Dynamics Corporation

Overview page. Subjects: Warfare and Defence — Astronomy and Astrophysics.

A US corporation whose space accomplishments include the Atlas and Centaur rockets, as well as the space shuttle's mid-fuselage. It has also contributed to the Hubble Space Telescope, the I...

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g-suit

Overview page. Subjects: Warfare and Defence — Astronomy and Astrophysics.

The clothing worn by a pilot or astronaut that exerts pressure on the abdomen and lower parts of the body to prevent or retard the collection of blood below the chest during high...

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jettison

Overview page. Subjects: Social Sciences — Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Items of a ship's cargo that have been thrown overboard to lighten the ship in dangerous circumstances. If the items are insured they constitute a general average loss (see average.)

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Langley Research Center

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics — Warfare and Defence.

A NASA facility in Hampton, Virginia, used for aeronautics research. Langley was established in 1917 as the USA's first civil aeronautics laboratory. It conducts programmes in atmospheric...

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Manned Orbital Laboratory

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics — Warfare and Defence.

(MOL)

A joint NASA and US Air Force programme in the 1960s that failed to meet its objectives. The programme was initiated to test the long-term residence of astronauts in space...

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McDonnell

Overview page. Subjects: Warfare and Defence — Astronomy and Astrophysics.

An aircraft manufacturer, now merged with Boeing in 1997, that began as the McDonnell Aircraft Company in Lambert Field, Missouri, in 1939. The company has developed into a major...

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National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics

Overview page. Subjects: Warfare and Defence — Astronomy and Astrophysics.

(NACA)

A predecessor of NASA. It was established in 1915 to ‘supervise and direct the scientific study of the problems of flight, with a view to their practical solutions’. By...

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near real time

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics — Warfare and Defence.

A designation that pertains to the timeliness of data or information that has been delayed by the time required for electronic communication and automatic data processing. This implies that...

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parachute

Overview page. Subjects: Warfare and Defence — Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Any canopied device used to slow down descent from a high altitude. NASA's Mercury project craft used one 19-m parachute and a back-up to land capsules in the Atlantic Ocean, while the Apol...

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payload

Overview page. Subjects: Warfare and Defence — Astronomy and Astrophysics.

An item on a spacecraft that is not part of the vehicle's structure or its operating systems and subsystems. Payloads include satellites to be deployed, as well as materials and instruments...

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pilot

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics — Warfare and Defence.

(P or PLT)

In a space shuttle, a crew member who assists the commander to operate and control the vehicle. A pilot-astronaut may also serve as commander of a mission and is able to...

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pitch

Overview page. Subjects: Warfare and Defence — Astronomy and Astrophysics.

The upwards or downwards motion, relative to the body of the craft, of the nose of a spacecraft or rocket.

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