heat shield

noun

Definition of heat shield

: a barrier of ablative material to protect a space capsule from heat on its entry into an atmosphere

Examples of heat shield in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The heat shield is a critical piece of hardware, and is the chief way to slow the probe down. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Why Mars InSight Will Be a Mission of Firsts," 23 Nov. 2018 The heat shield can’t tilt more than one degree in any direction without risking damage to the rest of the craft. Brian Resnick, Vox, "NASA is shooting a spaceship at the sun. It might help us solve a huge mystery.," 8 Aug. 2018 If the Soyuz loses its orientation, the capsule could expose its hatch, rather than the heat shield, to temperatures upwards of 3,000 degrees F. That would kill the crew. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Ballistic Reentry: How Astronauts Survive a Failed Launch," 11 Oct. 2018 Because they are not protected by the probe’s heat shield, the antennas are constructed from niobium C-103, a high-temperature alloy that can withstand intense heat, the Lab said. James Rogers, Fox News, "NASA's Parker Solar Probe gets closer to 'touching the Sun'," 6 Sep. 2018 And in 2000, Russia attempted to return the upper stage of a rocket from orbit using an inflatable heat shield. Loren Grush, The Verge, "How Elon Musk could recover rockets with balloons — just not the party kind," 18 Apr. 2018 Then Insight will turn so its heat shield is pointed dead-on at the atmosphere, which starts about 70 miles over the surface of the planet. Brian Resnick, Vox, "NASA is landing on Mars for the first time since 2012. You can watch!," 23 Nov. 2018 But not everything on the Parker will be behind the heat shield. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Why the Sun-Studying Parker Space Probe Won't Melt," 20 July 2018 During the first phase, InSight will free-fall through the atmosphere using a heat shield for protection as the surrounding air slams into the spacecraft, heating it up to temperatures of 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Watch NASA engineers track the harrowing landing of a spacecraft on Mars today," 26 Nov. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of heat shield

1962, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about heat shield

Statistics for heat shield

Last Updated

23 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for heat shield

The first known use of heat shield was in 1962

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on heat shield

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with heat shield

Comments on heat shield

What made you want to look up heat shield? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

an enemy or opponent

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Thing: Animal Edition

  • alt 5a023732e6f75
  • Name that animal:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!