Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [terminology]

Questions regarding special words and abbreviations used in space exploration, and their meaning in that context.

-1
votes
0answers
21 views

What is the distinction between detaching, jettisoning, and dumping?

What is the difference between the terms detach, jettison, and dump? Related Aviation.SE question: https://aviation.stackexchange.com/q/22903
0
votes
1answer
47 views

How often did launch vehicles have a “Stage 0”, and what does it mean exactly?

While trying to do some reading for the question Need help understanding staging shown in infographic of Titan launch of Hexagon satellites I ran across the Wikipedia article for Titan III. This ...
2
votes
0answers
100 views

Is the term 'lead head' used by astronauts?

In an article on the Space.com website, the author states "Very few astronauts have what's called the 'lead head'--immune from space adaptation syndrome or space sickness." I couldn't find any other ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

GLOM of a launch vehicle

What do you mean by GLOM of a launch vehicle? When I googled about it, it says it is a type of mass but I am unclear about it.
2
votes
0answers
44 views

List of words and abbreviations like A-OK and MAG

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?
0
votes
0answers
84 views

Is there a term for the activity of weightless astronauts hanging out on walls or ceilings?

Weightless astronauts often sit, stand, walk, or sleep on (or near) surfaces that (with gravity) we would normally call walls or ceilings. I reference such a phenomenon in my comment here: I would ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Why “strap-on” boosters, and how do other people say it?

This came up for me in the context of translating something into German. Everybody throws around terms like "strap-on boosters", although they aren't actually held on by straps. It's not even meant ...
4
votes
1answer
94 views

Did NASA have a term for the “sky” during the Apollo missions

Did NASA have a distinct word to describe what the Apollo astronauts saw when they looked at out at the stars, when traveling between the Earth and the Moon? Sky does not seem right, as that word ...
1
vote
4answers
127 views

Is GEO redundant (Geo- and Earth)? Would we call a Lunasychronous Lunar orbit LLO?

I think the title of the question Is it possible to establish a synchronous lunar orbit without using Lagrange points? is absolutely clear; it's an orbit around the Moon that is synchronous to the ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

When was the first strap-on booster used in spaceflight?

The first use of the term "strap-on" in Google Ngram viewer is in 1930 and presumably that wasn't about a booster being attached to a rocket for additional thrust at lift-off. When was a strap-on ...
2
votes
2answers
136 views

Terminology dispute: is an orbital flight still a ballistic flight?

We have a terminology dispute with a colleague: could a flight by elliptical orbit trajectory be called a ballistic flight as well or limits of the later is a parabolic trajectory of a suborbital ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

What is SpaceX's “rocket canister”?

The CNBC News item SpaceX, Boeing design risks threaten new delays for US space program says: Just ahead of the first scheduled un-manned test flight slated for March 2 under NASA's multibillion-...
12
votes
1answer
432 views

Opportunity's last tau was 10.8; what does that mean and how is tau defined and measured?

@ahiijny added a direct link to the Sol 5110-5114 MER B Downlink Report. These are the final days that signals were received from Opportunity. The message "Tau Value is NOT a Typographical Error" ...
5
votes
2answers
99 views

Can “space weather” refer to deep space environments or only to Earth's (or another planet's) upper atmosphere?

@OscarLanzi's interesting answer and my comment there led me to read Wikipedia's article Space weather. The article exclusively seems to only talk about effects in Earth's upper atmosphere; the only ...
0
votes
1answer
126 views

What do you call the Apollo LEM plus CM (Command Module) when they are connected?

In the question How far away can spacecraft be seen with an optical telescope? I used ...Apollo 14 CM & LEM and the Saturn IV B..." for lack of better words. Unlike some people I (don't) ...
6
votes
3answers
574 views

Is it appropriate to use the term “geology” for Martian studies?

Jargons like geology, geophysics, geothermal has its origin in and has strong connections with Earth. Other jargons like the closet point and farthest point of an orbit to a heavenly body get ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

What's the difference between zenith and radial?

When it comes to orbital mechanics, are zenith and radial the same? Or to put it another way, are nadir and anti-radial the same?
9
votes
1answer
255 views

Why did the S-IV-B refer to “jettison”ing its ullage?

This is based on a recent question about S-IV-B ullage motor shutoff timing, specifically something found in the Technical Information Summary AS-501, page 15: Ullage Jettison ~ 532. But why "...
3
votes
2answers
210 views

Name for point in a satellite's orbit around a planet when the satellite is furthest from the sun

When a satellite is orbiting a planet (which itself is orbiting the sun) there are periodic points when the satellite is closest to and farthest from the sun, once where it is interposed between the ...
3
votes
3answers
215 views

What's the planetary exploration word for “impact parameter” (distance of closest approach if gravity were “turned off”)?

In particle scattering there's a term called "impact parameter", which is the minimum distance a particle would pass a second particle at rest, if the attractive or repulsive force were ignored or "...
3
votes
0answers
66 views

what is the relevance of ion cyclotron and ion collision frequency ratio

On earth, the ion cyclotron and ion collision frequency ratio is 1 at roughly 118 km, and this is used as one of the definitions of the limit to space. What are ion cyclotron frequency and ion ...
3
votes
2answers
134 views

Is Dawn's upcoming low periapsis orbit for XMO7 “resonant”?

The Spaceflight Insider article Dawn will enter lowest ever orbit around Ceres says: In his Dawn Journal blog, mission director and chief engineer Marc Rayman discussed the challenges of bringing ...
7
votes
1answer
875 views

What is BECO? (Gemini) Same as MECO?

This answer links to this answer which shows the acceleration g-force envelopes experienced by early astronauts, reaching as high as almost 7.5g! Both show BECO, which is what I might call MECO or ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Are any “strap-on” boosters held in place by actual straps?

Have there been any strap-on boosters that are attached to the main body of a rocket with actual straps (like bands of metal or something similar), as the name implies? If not, what's the origin of ...
3
votes
2answers
119 views

What is a pickup ion?

I've been reading several publications about Titan's atmosphere and chemistry, and the term "pickup ion" kept appearing here and there (see this publication for example). I looked it up and found the ...
3
votes
1answer
130 views

What is the correct term for the exterior of a rocket or space launch system?

Would you call it the casing, cladding, exterior structure, hull, shell...?
4
votes
1answer
150 views

Why are there so many apisidal names

If we look at orbital mechanics, we can find great tables like these, demonstrating the name of the periapsis and apoapsis around various celestial bodies: Objects Periapsis Apoapsis ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

How does one refer to the “port port” on the ISS?

Saying "port port" is clumsy. Should I refer to it as the port berthing mechanism? Is there specific terminology for what I'm referring to or are there a few options? Also, I'm specifically ...
7
votes
1answer
457 views

Injection versus insertion

I've noticed that maneuvers to leave a body's sphere of influence on the way to another body are invariably referred to as injection maneuvers, for instance, translunar injection, while maneuvers to ...
4
votes
1answer
94 views

Terminology for CubeSat telecommunications

I'm looking at a brochure for the Iris V2 Deep Space Transponder by JPL. At the end of the brochure there is some data on suggested antennas. For each antenna the bps at approximately 1 AU is shown ...
5
votes
1answer
393 views

Why do delta-v and delta-v both use the same term?

As noted in this Wikipedia article, delta-v, used in spacecraft flight dynamics, is a measure of the impulse that is needed to perform a maneuver. However, in general physics (a much longer standing ...
31
votes
3answers
7k views

Why is Jupiter called a “Gas Giant”?

Jupiter's enormous gravity would turn its atmosphere first into a liquid from a certain depth, and then into a solid further towards its centre. So Jupiter has a solid core, above which is a liquid ...
-3
votes
2answers
897 views

What precisely is downrange distance - how is it defined mathematically?

Wikipedia: Downrange is the horizontal distance traveled by a spacecraft, or the spacecraft's horizontal distance from the launch site. Spacecraft don't travel horizontally. I don't even know how ...
4
votes
0answers
271 views

Are ion thruster trajectories classified as brachistochrones?

Usually, when performing trajectory optimizations for chemical rockets, the limiting factor is the $\Delta v$ budget. That means velocity change is the optimization factor, with things like transfer ...
3
votes
2answers
880 views

What is the “specific impulse”? [duplicate]

One of the most important values when talking about rocket engines is the so-called specific impulse. I have read the Wikipedia article but still have trouble understanding what it really is and what ...
1
vote
1answer
181 views

Has every passenger been an astronaut? Will they be in the future?

There have been a number of paying passengers on orbital missions in the past, and it is likely there will be many, many more in the future, and not only on orbital missions. I'm thinking that ...
8
votes
3answers
444 views

Why don't I find the concept of cosmic velocities in western space-related materials?

One of my earliest contacts with the concept of orbital mechanics was learning about the four cosmic velocities. They were in my primary school handbook. They were referenced in amateur astronomer's ...
5
votes
1answer
324 views

What does “Q frame” means in terms of satellite coordinates?

I'm looking at some old satellite documentation which mentions the use of a "Q frame" coordinate system to keep track of the satellite attitude. What does this "Q frame" generally mean in the field of ...
0
votes
2answers
77 views

What publishing authority (and year of publishing) was the first to use the term 'occultation'?

Researching the word occultation, it is evident that it is a newly incorporated term in respect to space and eclipses. It just recently began to populate space periodicals and online articles, but ...
2
votes
1answer
343 views

Filling of LOX tanks - 'cryogenic geyser cycling'

This article about the 2016 Sept 1 Falcon 9 explosion mention 'cryogenic geyser cycling' in reference to the filling of the LOX tanks as though it were a particular method of filling tanks. In ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

Is a coronal mass ejection (CME) synonymous with a solar particle event (SPE)?

Having read the Wiki page, this Space SE answer, and this link, I'm curious: Is a "coronal mass ejection" the same thing as (synonymous with) a "solar particle event"? If not, then what is/are the ...
7
votes
2answers
938 views

What does the abbreviation “MS” for the current Soyuz version name mean?

A quick search the meaning of the abbreviations for the previous versions of the Soyuz spacecraft easily tells me their meaning: Soyuz T. 'T' is for транспортный, ...
3
votes
3answers
383 views

Are there terms for Earth orbits with rational number multiples of 1 sidereal day?

An Earth orbit with a period of 1 sidereal day (and zero inclination) is a geosynchronous orbit, orbits slightly above and below that are supersynchronous and subsynchronous orbits, and a Molniya ...
1
vote
2answers
240 views

Why use the term “gravitational slingshot”?

I was reading about gravity assist. This maneuver is sometimes called a gravitational slingshot. But to me it seems more like a sling (like the one the Biblical David used against Goliath) The ...
3
votes
1answer
130 views

Is it still called a Van Allen radiation belt if it's around another planet?

Earth has (at least) 2 radiation belts called the Van Allen belts. Jupiter has similar radiation belt(s). Are they still called Van Allen belts around other planets? Edit: The reason I ask is every ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

What does “in the bucket” mean?

I've heard this expression a couple of times before. It seems related to the engines, but I can't find any information on it, except in the context of testing them. Here's two videos where it occurs: ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Common usage of “dry-mass”

Usually, I would consider the dry-mass the mass of a vehicle without any consumables, passengers, or cargo. This NASA article however describes the Apollo 11 Eagle as: The lunar module was a two-...
5
votes
2answers
629 views

What do remotely-controlled bolts look like?

I've been reading about various components that are attached to the ISS and occasionally see references to "remotely controlled bolts". That makes sense, but I've barely been able to find more than a ...
4
votes
1answer
427 views

What does “supersonic large amplitude ID maneuver PTI” mean, and what does a tumble motor do?

In this question I linked to a YouTube video of the Ares X-1 launch. You can start listening at 02:00 for the point where these are mentioned: "Supersonic large ...
10
votes
1answer
589 views

Is this really the logo of the North Korean space program?

Reading about the North Korean space program, and its recent launch of the Kwangmyŏngsŏng-4 satellite, I stumbled upon this logo: It is referenced in quite a few news stories, like here or here, or ...