or·​bit·​er | \ ˈȯr-bə-tər How to pronounce orbiter (audio) \

Definition of orbiter

: one that orbits: such as
a : a spacecraft designed to orbit a celestial body without landing on its surface

Examples of orbiter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The new Breakthrough Listen paper proposed two main approaches to a lunar SETI observatory: an orbiter and a telescope on the surface. Daniel Oberhaus Supercluster, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why Astronomers Want to Build a SETI Observatory on the Moon," 2 Oct. 2020 The Tuesday announcement by the sheikh comes after the UAE launched a Mars orbiter from Japan in July. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "United Arab Emirates aims to launch rover in 2024 in bid to be fourth nation to land on moon," 29 Sep. 2020 Now, only one spacecraft, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Akatsuki orbiter, is monitoring Venus. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "We've Found Possible Signs of Life in Venus's Clouds. Whoa.," 14 Sep. 2020 The scientists relied on data collected by the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding, or MARSIS, on the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "Three more bodies of water may have been discovered on Mars, study suggests," 30 Sep. 2020 Some scientists remain unconvinced that what's been seen is liquid water, but the latest study adds weight to a tentative 2018 finding from radar maps of the planet's crust made by the Mars Express robot orbiter. NBC News, "Liquid water on Mars? New research indicates buried 'lakes'," 28 Sep. 2020 Several months later, in November, NASA mapped Titan using data from its Cassini orbiter, further showcasing its similarities to Earth. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "Coronavirus pandemic pushes back NASA's search for life on Saturn's moon," 27 Sep. 2020 The orbiter could drop these capsules off, one by one or all at once, and serve as their data-relay satellite. Robert Zubrin, National Review, "Might We Find Life on Venus?," 19 Sep. 2020 The United Arab Emirates is planning to launch its Hope Mars orbiter this summer, too. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "The Percy Primer: Everything You Need To Know About NASA's New Mars Rover," 19 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'orbiter.' 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 orbiter

1951, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for orbiter

orbit entry 3 + -er entry 2

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Time Traveler for orbiter

Time Traveler

The first known use of orbiter was in 1951

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Statistics for orbiter

Last Updated

22 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Orbiter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orbiter. Accessed 31 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for orbiter


How to pronounce orbiter (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of orbiter

: a vehicle or device that travels around a planet or moon in space

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