Advanced Space Vision System The Advanced Space Vision System (also known as the Space Vision System or by its acronym SVS) is a computer vision system designed primarily for International Space Station (ISS) assembly.
Airlock An airlock is a device which permits the passage of people and objects between a pressure vessel and its surroundings while minimizing the change of pressure in the vessel and loss of air from it.
Androgynous Peripheral Attach System The Androgynous Peripheral Attach System, or Androgynous Peripheral Assembly System, is a spacecraft docking mechanism used on the International Space Station.
Arming plug An arming plug is a small plug that is fitted into flight hardware to enable functions that, for instrument or personnel safety, should not be activated before flight.
Astrionics Astrionics is the science and technology of the development and application of electronic systems, sub-systems, and components used in spacecraft.
Attitude control system In spaceflight, the attitude control system or attitude determination and control system of a spacecraft consists of equipment to measure, report and change the orientation of the vehicle.
AVCOAT 5026-39 AVCOAT 5026-39 is a NASA code for a specific ablative heat shield created by Avco (acquired by Textron in 1984).
Avionics Avionics are the electronic systems used on aircraft, artificial satellites, and spacecraft.
Ballute The ballute (a portmanteau combining "balloon" and "parachute") was invented by Goodyear in 1958.
Boilerplate (spaceflight) A boilerplate spacecraft, also known as a DemoSat or mass simulator, is a nonfunctional craft or payload which is used to test various configurations and basic size, load, and handling ...
BonNova Allen Newcomb is a rocket engineer and chief engineer for the BonNova, a team that is competing in the Northrop Grumman lunar lander challenge.
Booster (rocketry) A booster rocket (or engine) is either the first stage of a multi-stage launch vehicle, or else a strap-on rocket used to augment the core launch vehicle's takeoff thrust and payload capability.
Canadarm The Shuttle Remote Manipulator System, also known as Canadarm, is a series of robotic arms that were used on the Space Shuttle orbiters to deploy, maneuver and capture payloads.
Canfield joint The Canfield joint is a mechanism that allows for full hemispherical motion from whatever connects to it.
Cold gas thruster A cold gas thruster is a rocket engine/thruster that uses a gas as the reaction mass.
Common Berthing Mechanism The Common Berthing Mechanism is a berthing mechanism used to connect all non-Russian pressurized modules of the International Space Station.
Common berthing mechanism The common berthing mechanism (CBM) is a berthing mechanism used to connect all non-Russian pressurized modules of the International Space Station.
Docking and berthing of spacecraft Spacecraft docking and berthing mechanisms are mechanisms which are used to connect one spacecraft to another spacecraft (including space stations).
Electrodynamic tether Electrodynamic tethers (EDTs) are long conducting wires, such as one deployed from a tether satellite, which can operate on electromagnetic principles as generators, by converting their kinetic ...
Escape tower An Escape Tower, the original version officially known as the Aerial Capsule Emergency Separation Device, is the visible part of the Launch Escape System.
Extended Duration Orbiter The Extended Duration Orbiter (EDO) program was a project by NASA to prepare for long-term (months) microgravity research aboard Space Station Freedom, which later evolved into the International...
FREND FREND (for Front-end Robotics Enabling Near-term Demonstration) is a DARPA project "aiming to create a fully autonomous docking capability for satellites that weren't built to be serviced", curr...
Gemini space suit The Gemini space suit is a space suit worn by American astronauts for launch, in-flight activities and landing.
Gravity-gradient stabilization Gravity-gradient stabilization (a.k.a. "tidal stabilization") is a method of stabilizing artificial satellites or space tethers in a fixed orientation using only the orbited body's mass distribu...
HAL/S HAL/S (High-order Assembly Language/Shuttle) is a real-time aerospace programming language, best known for its use in the Space Shuttle program.
Heat pipe A heat pipe or heat pin is a heat-transfer device that combines the principles of both thermal conductivity and phase transition to efficiently manage the transfer of heat between two solid interfaces.
Heat shield A heat shield is designed to shield a substance from absorbing excessive heat from an outside source by either dissipating, reflecting or simply absorbing the heat.
Hemispherical resonator gyroscope The Hemispherical Resonator Gyroscope (HRG), also called wine-glass gyroscope or mushroom gyro, makes using a thin solid-state hemispherical shell, anchored by a thick stem.
HRG gyrocompass The HRG gyrocompass is a complete unit, which unlike a conventional compass, has no rotating or other moving parts.
Inertial navigation system An inertial navigation system (INS) is a navigation aid that uses a computer, motion sensors (accelerometers) and rotation sensors (gyroscopes) to continuously calculate via dead reckoning the p...
Integrated Truss Structure The Integrated Truss Structure (ITS) forms the backbone of the International Space Station, with mountings for unpressurized logistics carriers, radiators, solar arrays, and other equipment.
Integrated truss structure The integrated truss structure (ITS) forms the backbone of the International Space Station, with mountings for unpressurized logistics carriers, radiators, solar arrays, and other equipment.
International Low Impact Docking System The international Low Impact Docking System (iLIDS) or NASA Docking System (NDS) is a spacecraft docking and berthing mechanism being developed by NASA for the next generation of space exp...
Internet Routing in Space Internet Routing in Space (IRIS) was a program to build a radiation-tolerant IP router created by Cisco Systems for satellite and related spacecraft.
Launch escape system A Launch Escape System (LES) is a system connected to the crew module of a crewed spacecraft and used to quickly separate the crew module from the rest of the rocket in case of emergency.
Life support system In human spaceflight, a life support system is a group of devices that allow a human being to survive in space.
Magnetic sail A magnetic sail or magsail is a proposed method of spacecraft propulsion which would use a static magnetic field to deflect charged particles radiated by the Sun as a plasma wind, and thus...
Magnetorquer In satellite systems, a magnetorquer or magnetic torquer is a system for attitude control, detumbling and stabilization built from electromagnetic coils.
Max Launch Abort System The Max Launch Abort System (MLAS) is a proposed alternative to the Max Faget-invented "tractor" Launch Escape System (LES) currently planned for use by NASA for its Orion spacecraft in the even...
Modular rocket A modular rocket is a type of multistage rocket which features components that can be interchanged for specific mission requirements.
NASA Docking System The NASA Docking System (NDS) is a spacecraft docking and berthing mechanism developed by NASA for future US space exploration vehicles, such as the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and the Comm...
NSSC-1 The NASA Standard Spacecraft Computer-1 was a computer developed as a standard component for the MultiMission Modular Spacecraft at the Goddard Space Flight Center in 1974.
Optical lift Optical lift is an optical analogue of aerodynamic lift, in which a cambered refractive object with differently shaped top and bottom surfaces experiences a stable transverse lift force when pla...
Optical Solar Reflector An Optical Solar Reflector (OSR) consists of a top layer made out of quartz, over a reflecting layer made of metal.
Optical solar reflector An optical solar reflector (commonly abbreviated OSR) consists of a top layer made out of quartz, over a reflecting layer made of metal.
Orbital module The orbital module is a portion of spacecraft used only in orbit.
Orbital Replacement Unit Orbital Replacement Unit are key elements of the International Space Station that can be readily replaced when the unit either passes its design life or fails.
Orbital replacement unit Orbital Replacement Units (ORUs) are key elements of the International Space Station that can be readily replaced when the unit either passes its design life or fails.
Pad abort test A pad abort test is a test of a launch escape system to determine how well the system could get the crew of a spacecraft to safety in an emergency on the launch pad.
Plasma Contactor Plasma contactors are devices used on spacecraft in order to prevent accumulation of electrostatic charge through the expulsion of plasma.
Plasma contactor Plasma contactors are devices used on spacecraft in order to prevent accumulation of electrostatic charge through the expulsion of plasma.
Power processing unit Power processing units (PPUs) are circuit devices that convert an electricity input from a utility line into the appropriate voltage and current to be used for the device in question.
Pyrotechnic valves A Pyrotechnic valve is a one time use propulsion component often used to control propellant or pressurant systems on spacecraft.
Reaction control system A reaction control system (RCS) is a subsystem of a spacecraft whose purpose is attitude control and steering by the use of thrusters.
Reentry Breakup Recorder A Reentry Breakup Recorder (REBR) is a device that is designed to be placed aboard a spacecraft to record pertinent data when the spacecraft (intentionally) breaks up as it re-enters Earth's atm...
Reentry capsule A reentry capsule is the portion of a spacecraft which returns to Earth following a space flight.
Retrorocket A retrorocket (short for retrograde rocket) is a rocket engine providing thrust opposing the motion of a vehicle, thereby causing it to decelerate.
Rocket engine A rocket engine, or simply "rocket", is a jet engine that uses only stored propellant mass for forming its high speed propulsive jet.
Saturn V Instrument Unit The Saturn V Instrument Unit is a ring-shaped structure fitted to the top of the Saturn V rocket's third stage and the Saturn IB's second stage.
Service module A service module (or equipment module) is a spacecraft compartment containing a variety of support systems used for spacecraft operations.
Whipple shield The Whipple shield or Whipple bumper, invented by Fred Whipple, is a type of hypervelocity impact shield used to protect manned and unmanned spacecraft from collisions with micrometeoroids...
Yo-yo de-spin A yo-yo de-spin mechanism is a device used to reduce the spin of satellite, typically right after launch.