sub·​or·​bit·​al | \ ˌsəb-ˈȯr-bə-tᵊl How to pronounce suborbital (audio) \

Definition of suborbital

1 : situated beneath the eye or the orbit of the eye
2 : being or involving less than one orbit (as of the earth or moon) also : intended for suborbital flight

Examples of suborbital in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

From there, SpaceShipTwo will drop free, use its rocket motor and get to suborbital space. Fox News, "Virgin Galactic gives space tourism big boost as 'Gateway to Space' is now open," 16 Aug. 2019 The company has been working on developing its Vector-R vehicle and trying to prepare it for a suborbital flight this summer. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: SpaceX nets another boat, Air Force competition heats up," 16 Aug. 2019 In the span of just four years, reusable rockets have gone from never-been-done to almost routine, at least at SpaceX. Blue Origin was the first to land a rocket booster, in 2015, after a suborbital flight to space. Daniel Oberhaus, WIRED, "Catch Rockets With a Helicopter? Yep, That's the Plan," 15 Aug. 2019 The trade-off is that their use is limited to suborbital flight. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Air Force Sets New Thrust Record In Experimental Scramjet Test," 9 Aug. 2019 Johnson now is senior vice president at the New Shepard suborbital rocket project for Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. Erik Lacitis, The Seattle Times, "5 Washington astronauts try to put outer space into words: ‘grandeur that is beyond what I can describe’," 15 July 2019 Virgin Galactic, the space tourism firm founded in 2004 by British entrepreneur Richard Branson to launch passengers on 20-minute suborbital flights, is merging with Social Capital Hedosophia (SCH). Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "The first space tourism company to go public will do so with a blank check," 9 July 2019 PLD Space has re-branded its rockets from Arion 1 and 2 to the suborbital Miura-1 and orbital Miura-5 (which has five engines). Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Russia’s nuclear rocket, airspace wars, BFR changes explained," 30 Nov. 2018 In the past, several Chinese companies have tried unsuccessfully to launch satellites into orbit: Landspace's 2018 attempt ended in failure, as did an attempt this March by OneSpace, which has only achieved suborbital flight. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "I-Space becomes first China's first private firm to put satellite into orbit," 25 July 2019

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

1803, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

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The first known use of suborbital was in 1803

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sub·​or·​bit·​al | \ ˌsəb-ˈȯr-bət-ᵊl How to pronounce suborbital (audio) \

Medical Definition of suborbital

: situated or occurring beneath the eye or the orbit of the eye suborbital fat

Comments on suborbital

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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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