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Foreword More than three decades have passed since Origins of NASA Names was published in the NASA History Series in 1976. As that volume rolled off the press during the nation’s bicentennial year, the final remnants of the Apollo program had been played out, with three crews having visited Skylab in 1973–74 and the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project having come to a successful completion in July 1975. The Space Shuttle was still five years from its first launch in 1981, and the initial assembly of the International Space Station was more than two decades in the future. Two Viking spacecraft would make first landfall on Mars in 1976, but the Voyagers had not yet made their tours of the outer planets, and Pluto was still a planet (rather than a dwarf planet, as redefined by the International Astronomical Union in 2006—an example of the importance of definition ). The inspiring images of the Hubble Space Telescope were still 15 years away, and the other Great Observatories were little more than a gleam in astronomers’imaginations. In the intervening decades since Origins was first published, the lexicon of aerospace (see its entry!) has increased substantially. Although this compilation is by no means comprehensive, it is a fascinating commentary on how one technological discipline has affected the meaning and use of words and language, both within the aerospace community and in the broader world. As a longtime space reporter, author, lexicographer, and space enthusiast , Paul Dickson is well qualified to undertake this update of Origins. His knowledge and love of the subject shine through in each entry. It is appropriate, too, that this volume should appear on the occasion of the 50th anniversaries of NASA and of the Space Age. Space exploration has arguably added much to history and culture, and as language evolves over the coming decades, one anticipates that a next edition of this volume will reflect the evolution of both the Space Age and the culture in which it is embedded. Steven J. Dick NASA Chief Historian Washington, D.C. ix This page intentionally left blank ...


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