sub·​or·​bit·​al | \ˌsəb-ˈȯr-bə-tᵊl \

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

Virgin is beginning to move staff to New Mexico—about 40 so far, with another 100 or so to come—as the company prepares to send passengers to suborbital flight. Arian Campo-flores, WSJ, "Across the U.S., the Spaceport Race Is On," 11 Aug. 2018 Hypersonic jets could also stack up favorably against vehicles in the other end of the spectrum: suborbital rockets. Eric Adams, WIRED, "Boeing’s Proposed Hypersonic Plane Is Really, Really Fast," 28 June 2018 Two smaller rocket companies, Firefly Space Systems and Rocket Lab, will be launching suborbital rockets from the space center under a NASA contract. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Cape Canaveral, Reinvigorated," 12 June 2018 The plane is designed to take passengers into suborbital space for just a few minutes before returning back to Earth, and already has a waiting list of some 700 passengers eager for the trip at $250,000 per ticket. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "Virgin Galactic Wants to Send Tourists to Space," 7 July 2018 That’s the ticket A 2014 crash stalled its progress, but Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic continues to sign up passengers—at a price of $250,000 each—to experience a few minutes of weightlessness in suborbital space. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "The Private Space Race: By the Numbers," 29 May 2018 Blue Origin to sell suborbital flight tickets next year. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Small sat market surging, Proton dying, Falcon Heavy certified," 29 June 2018 The New Shepard is minuscule compared to the Falcon Heavy, or even the Falcon 9, and has a much lower maximum altitude than either, reaching only suborbital altitudes. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin Will Start Selling Tickets to Space Next Year," 24 June 2018 Virgin Galactic has sold at least 650 tickets for its fully commercial suborbital flights, which are now booked until at least 2021. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin Will Start Selling Tickets to Space Next Year," 24 June 2018

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

21 Nov 2018

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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 \

Medical Definition of suborbital 

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

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