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

8
votes
Well...you have to start somewhere. Reference Missions (often, and more familiarly to me, Design Reference Missions) are (hopefully) representative mission profiles which allow the initiation of studi …
answered Mar 23 '15 by Organic Marble
36
votes
I gave an example of one a while back in this answer:
answered Sep 13 by Organic Marble
13
votes
Berthing is when the vehicle is grappled by the robot arm and moved to a port. Docking is when it flies in on its own.
answered Jan 23 '16 by Organic Marble
11
votes
Titan 34D boosters had thin, strappy looking attachments (but they were probably actually struts vs. straps). I always thought the upper attachments looked odd. They must have only been to resist lat …
answered Apr 20 '18 by Organic Marble
4
votes
Maybe this cross section is more what you are looking for? From here.
answered Apr 27 '16 by Organic Marble
4
votes
It's sometimes (often) referred to as the Outer Mold Line, which always seemed a bit odd to me, because it's not molded, usually.
answered Feb 15 '18 by Organic Marble
3
votes
Moving further into the past (since you allowed suborbital flights, and this vehicle has a stated apogee of 240 miles, well above the line-whose-name-shall-not-be-spoken) there is the Sergeant-Delta a …
answered Mar 18 by Organic Marble
7
votes
In his memoir "Liftoff", Michael Collins (Command Module pilot on Apollo 11) called it the sky. It is a quiet interval and we get a chance to examine our surroundings, this strange region called …
answered May 15 by Organic Marble
8
votes
Partial answer - don't know how to answer the "how often" part. It's a historical artifact - they had years of Titan documents, procedures, display and controls, etc referring to the "first stage" an …
answered Jun 20 by Organic Marble
16
votes
The space shuttle throttled down its main engines from the normal setting of approximately 104% to around 67% as it was passing through the region of max dynamic pressure ("max q"), to make sure that …
answered Jul 4 '16 by Organic Marble
8
votes
"tumble motors" were solid rocket motors similar to the Booster Separation Motors used on regular shuttle SRBs, but mounted in such a way to cause the booster to tumble in an attempt to prevent it fro …
answered Apr 25 '16 by Organic Marble
8
votes
In simplest terms it is just the thrust produced divided by the propellant flow rate. "How much thrust am I getting for the propellant I am expending?" So bigger is better - you are getting more t …
answered Mar 25 '17 by Organic Marble
12
votes
In shuttle parlance the "flight deck" was the upper floor of the three-story crew module, the middeck was, erm, the middle floor, and the ECLSS (or Lower Equipment) bay was the lower floor. The flig …
answered Jun 29 by Organic Marble
5
votes
The technical term for them is "handrail". Image source: http://www.hunchdesign.com/uploads/2/2/0/9/22093000/restraint_and_mobility_aids.pdf IVA (IntraVehicular Activity) Handrail if you want to b …
answered Sep 22 by Organic Marble
2
votes
They would most likely use a TLA (Three Letter Acronym) instead of the noun "port". In the example you give, they would say the "port CBM" (Common Berthing Mechanism). Here's an example from the STS …
answered Nov 4 '17 by Organic Marble