Definition of aerocapture
: the technique of using atmospheric friction to decelerate a space vehicle as it enters a planet's atmosphere : the use of aerobraking to slow down and capture a space vehicle But two of the flight plans call for “direct insertion” by aerocapture. In other words, the spacecraft will come screaming into the Martian atmosphere, where drag, not retrorockets, will slow it down. — Tony Reichhardt, Air & Space, October/November 1999 Aerocapture is being developed for robotic probe missions such as the Mars rovers. — Shelby G. Spires, Seattle Times, 15 Jan. 2004
Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.
Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:
- More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
- Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
- Advanced search features
- Ad free!
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up aerocapture? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).