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A Dictionary of the Space Age Paul Dickson The Johns Hopkins University Press Baltimore This book has been brought to publication with the generous assistance of the J. G. Goellner Endowment of the Johns Hopkins University Press.© 2009 United States Government as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration All rights reserved. Published 2009 Printed in the United States of America on acid-free paper 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 This volume was produced under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Johns Hopkins University Press 2715 North Charles Street Baltimore, Maryland 21218-4363 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Dickson, Paul. A dictionary of the space age / Paul Dickson. p. cm. — (New series in NASA history) Includes bibliographical references. ISBN-13: 978-0-8018-9115-1 (hardcover : alk. paper) ISBN-10: 0-8018-9115-9 (hardcover : alk. paper) 1. Aeronautics—Dictionaries. I. Title. TL509.D475 2009 629.403—dc22 2008022679 A catalog record for this book is available from the British Library. Special discounts are available for bulk purchases of this book. For more information, please contact Special Sales at 410-516-6936 or The Johns Hopkins University Press uses environmentally friendly book materials, including recycled text paper that is composed of at least 30 percent post-consumer waste, whenever possible. All of our book papers are acid-free, and our jackets and covers are printed on paper with recycled content. In time of rapid change, few things change more rapidly than language itself. Newly discovered phenomena, technologies that until lately have not even existed—each of these demands marked growth in the little conceptual handles that we call words, and that we use as tools to communicate and to record. • Sometimes this growth takes the form of new meanings added precariously to the top of loads carried by existing words, thus setting traps of incomprehension for the unwary. The growth of language is a process that races past generally unperceived by most of us. Yet today surely millions of people must have at least a nodding acquaintance with words and terms that, a few years ago, would have quite baffled them in their current contexts, e.g. ablation, staging, mid-course correction, and hold, to cite only a few. At times we are afforded a momentary glimpse of the phenomenon of language change: today we used the word astronaut with casual ease, but only a few years ago as it first crept into the language it sounded bizarre and even pretentious to many ears. —Melvin S. Day, Director, NASA Scientific and Technical Information Division, foreword to Dictionary of Technical Terms for Aerospace Use (NASA SP-7, 1965) This page intentionally left blank ...


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