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 report examined anomalies with the spacecraft’s heat shield and other hardware components, all of which were discovered after the uncrewed Artemis 1 mission in late 2022. Passant Rabie / Gizmodo, Quartz, 2 May 2024 On its return home, a heat shield keeps the occupants safe from temperatures of some 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, before the vehicle descends under parachute and finally touches down, with the help of airbags to cushion the fall, in one of several desert landing sites in the US. Jonathan O'Callaghan, WIRED, 6 May 2024 The new report from the inspector general highlights the problems with Orion’s heat shield. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 May 2024 But last month, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said the flight will be delayed to September 2025 because the space agency needs to further study Orion’s heat shield, which showed more charring than anticipated. Christian Davenport, Washington Post, 13 Feb. 2024 In the collection is a capsule that NASA shot up to test a heat shield, a helicopter that recovered astronauts and a Mobile Quarantine Facility (at $250,000, the world’s most expensive Airstream trailer) that astronauts stayed in before being deemed free of moon germs. John Metcalfe, The Mercury News, 30 Jan. 2024 During a live view of entry, a glowing red halo could be seen around Starship, indicating the scorching temperatures its heat shield faced. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 16 Mar. 2024 But that could slip into 2025, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in an interview, as engineers continue to study how the capsule’s heat shield performed during its first flight to the moon. Christian Davenport, Washington Post, 7 Jan. 2024 The destruction of the Starship upper stage in the final seconds of its engine burn also eliminated a chance to test the ship's heat shield. Stephen Clark, Ars Technica, 18 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'heat shield.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1962, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of heat shield was in 1962

Dictionary Entries Near heat shield

Cite this Entry

“Heat shield.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heat%20shield. Accessed 20 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

heat shield

: a barrier of insulation to protect a space capsule from heat on its return to earth
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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