aero·​cap·​ture | \ ¦er-ō-¦kap-chər How to pronounce aerocapture (audio) , -shər\

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

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First Known Use of aerocapture

1980, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for aerocapture

aero- + capture entry 1

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Time Traveler for aerocapture

The first known use of aerocapture was in 1980

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