Is there a list of casual, non-technical words, phrases, abbreviations and the like that have developed in any of the space agencies around the world?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If you find one and it has downrange distance in it (which people tell me doesn't have a technical definition, "but contributes to a ... gestalt of what's going on...", please let me know, or post an answer there! $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 0:27
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh Sure thing. $\endgroup$
    – Bob516
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 1:49
  • $\begingroup$ Not quite what you're looking for (has neither term) but is an official and fairly comprehensive NASA glossary intended for children: grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/TRC/glossary.htm $\endgroup$
    – DrSheldon
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 16:05
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    $\begingroup$ Well there's always "norminal" which is cross between nominal and normal which SpaceX uses from time to time cause of a slip up on a stream once and it stuck. $\endgroup$ Commented May 30, 2019 at 2:59

1 Answer 1


The "Space Flight Language Technical Handbook" was developed primarily to help international participants in the Shuttle program understand the colloquial language at JSC.

Unlike most acronym lists which merely define them, it very usefully attempts to teach you how to pronounce them. Knowing when to spell them out and when to pronounce them as a word is important for being in the cool kids club.

LOS \l–o–s\

Loss Of Signal

LOX \lox\

Liquid Oxygen

The document covers words and phrases as well as acronyms.

Perhaps that would fit what you are asking for?


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