space shuttle


Definition of space shuttle 

: a reusable spacecraft designed to transport people and cargo between earth and space

Examples of space shuttle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Since the space shuttle program ended in 2011, the Russian Soyuz rocket system has been the only way for astronauts to access the ISS. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "Russia’s space agency reveals why last month’s rocket launch failed," 1 Nov. 2018 The exploration program spreads those funds around to four principal contractors who once played a key role in the space shuttle program and now supports the SLS rocket and Orion. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "SLS contractor gets real, says program needs to focus on “affordability”," 29 Oct. 2018 In 2011, Atlantis thundered into orbit on a cargo run that would close out the three-decade U.S. space shuttle program., "This day in history," 8 July 2018 The space shuttle flew military missions in the 1980s and early 1990s. Elizabeth Howell,, "Trump's Space Force Push Reopens Arguments About Military in Space," 20 June 2018 During the heyday of the space shuttle, NASA would routinely ferry classified payloads into orbit for the Department of Defense among other projects the agencies have collaborated on. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "The U.S. Military Has Been in Space From the Beginning," 20 June 2018 In 1995, the space shuttle Atlantis and the Russian Mir space station linked in orbit, beginning a historic five-day voyage as a single ship., "This day in history," 29 June 2018 The godmother for Thursday's christening ceremony will be a former astronaut, Anna Fisher, who worked on NASA's Orion spacecraft project in addition to flying on a space shuttle. Gene Sloan, USA TODAY, "New Viking Cruises ship boasts high-tech planetarium," 14 June 2018 While certainly a scrub is possible—much could derail the fueling process that will begin about 90 minutes before launch—a rocket this powerful has not launched from Earth since the final space shuttle flight in 2011. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "SpaceX’s colossal Falcon Heavy has taken flight [Updated]," 6 Feb. 2018

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

1950, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about space shuttle

Share space shuttle

Statistics for space shuttle

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for space shuttle

The first known use of space shuttle was in 1950

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for space shuttle

space shuttle


English Language Learners Definition of space shuttle

: a spacecraft that can be used more than once and that carries people into outer space and back to Earth

space shuttle


Kids Definition of space shuttle

: a spacecraft designed to transport people and cargo between earth and space that can be used repeatedly

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on space shuttle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with space shuttle

Spanish Central: Translation of space shuttle

Nglish: Translation of space shuttle for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about space shuttle

Comments on space shuttle

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


living or existing for a long time

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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