down·​link | \ ˈdau̇n-ˌliŋk How to pronounce downlink (audio) \

Definition of downlink

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a communications channel for receiving transmissions from a spacecraft also : such transmissions


downlinked; downlinking; downlinks

Definition of downlink (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to transmit (data) from a spacecraft or satellite to a receiver on earth

Examples of downlink in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As a result, the spacecraft automatically entered safe mode, losing downlink with the Deep Space Network. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "NASA's Pluto-Bound Probe is Back Online and Ready to Go," 6 July 2015 Martian spacecraft have uplink and downlink windows that vary throughout the year due to differences between Earth and Mars rotations, according to Canberra. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Time I Thought a Mars Rover Spoke To Me On a Barstool," 15 June 2018 The downlink lasted only 20 minutes, but that precious time is something these students will always remember. David Aaro, miamiherald, "From space station, astronauts have long-distance video chat with students | Miami Herald," 30 Apr. 2018 The downlink speeds—the rate at which ISS can send data to ground stations—is a blazing 300 megabits per second. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "ISS astronauts will get their own Star Wars premiere—in space," 15 Dec. 2017 Mission control will watch over the downlink for the last bits of Cassini’s data. Shannon Stirone, The Atlantic, "The NASA Team That Kills Spacecraft," 12 Sep. 2017 The images are still on the spacecraft, so Church is monitoring its data from her computer—one of a dozen on the table, some open, some closed—and instant messaging her colleagues at Lockheed Martin in Denver for the status of the downlink. David W. Brown, The Atlantic, "In the Control Room When a NASA Spacecraft Goes Silent," 29 Sep. 2017 That’s more reliable than in the past, when satellite uplinks and downlinks were key. Nancy Dahlberg, miamiherald, "What you can do now to ready your technology for the storm," 5 Sep. 2017 In one precautionary move, NASA re-routed video downlinks of science research being performed 250 miles overhead on the space station to the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., which already supports station research. James Dean, USA TODAY, "Harvey closes Johnson Space Center, but space station still monitored," 29 Aug. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The spacecraft was launched from Florida last month and images from this week’s deployment sequence were downlinked from the orbiter by flight controllers at California Polytechnic State University , San Luis Obispo. Washington Post, "Images show Lightsail 2 spacecraft’s solar sail has deployed," 26 July 2019 While all of the data from the recorders will be downlinked during the flight, the team needs to be able to recover at least one data recorder to provide a full backup if data is lost. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "NASA tests abort system for the Orion spacecraft that will carry humans to the moon in 2024," 2 July 2019 Those video files will be downlinked for Micro 11’s investigator study. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Why There Are Sperm Swimming Around at the Space Station," 16 July 2018 The space telescope will fly in a large ellipse that takes it out beyond the moon and then in close to the Earth to downlink its data. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "SpaceX Successfully Launches TESS Space Telescope (Updated)," 18 Apr. 2018 The first science data, post-flyby, is expected to start downlinking to Earth on July 15, including imaging. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "NASA's Pluto-Bound Probe is Back Online and Ready to Go," 6 July 2015 Space felt a little closer to home at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden in Coral Gables as Miami students participated in a live question and answer downlink with two astronauts currently aboard the International Space Station(ISS). David Aaro, miamiherald, "From space station, astronauts have long-distance video chat with students | Miami Herald," 30 Apr. 2018 While the photos were successful, the astronauts found themselves in the unusual position of having no one to downlink their photo data. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Hurricane Harvey Closes NASA Johnson Space Center," 28 Aug. 2017 On Monday, a NASA spokeswoman told Fox News the raw images were expected to be downlinked and available on Friday, July 14. Fox News, "PHOTOS: NASA's Juno spacecraft releases first images of Jupiter's Great Red Spot," 12 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'downlink.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of downlink


1963, in the meaning defined above


1977, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of downlink was in 1963

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Cite this Entry

“Downlink.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 29 January 2020.

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to assert without proof or before proving

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