Cover image for The dictionary of space technology
The dictionary of space technology
Angelo, Joseph A.
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Facts on File, [1999]

Physical Description:
viii, 487 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TL788 .A53 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
TL788 .A53 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



From the atomic mass number to zulu time, this dictionary presents some 3000 definitions of words, concepts, places, artifacts, and events related to space exploration. Planned future projects and technologies are included. Mathematical equations are included in definitions where pertinent.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

There have been many developments in space technology since the first edition of this work was published back in 1981. The Challenger disaster, the Hubble Space Telescope, the Mars Pathfinder mission, and numerous other achievements and failures are all covered by this new edition. Similar to the first edition, the 3,000 alphabetical entries range in length from a single sentence to several pages, with most of the longer entries devoted to various missions or destinations. Although space programs from all nations are included, the emphasis is clearly on the U. S. Entries are written for the general adult reader or student and do not rely heavily on mathematics for their explanations. The author is unashamedly a space enthusiast, and the writing sometimes reflects this position by promoting space exploration. Black-and-white diagrams and a few photos accompany some of the entries. Considering the availability of excellent public domain images related to space exploration, the quality of the illustrations in this work is disappointing. Appendixes list units of measure, conversion factors, and Web sites related to space exploration. Despite its poor illustrations, this work will be a useful tool for anyone interested in space exploration. A good companion on the reference shelf is Who's Who in Space (3d ed., Macmillan, 1999), which has astronaut biographies. Recommended for high-school, public, and academic libraries.

Choice Review

Angelo (Florida Institute of Technology) has improved on his long-outdated original (CH, Oct'82), even though this new edition has fewer essays. Briefer definitions allow room for many more, and the number and quality of figures has also increased dramatically, although they could often use better captions and labeling. A guide to using the book and pronunciation for some words are also needed. Although many of the words are used only in technical arenas, the definitions are straightforward. Despite the title, many terms are not technological, although they are associated with space ("comet," "Moon"), while others seem unnecessary ("Internet," "multi-," "orthogonal," "ounce"), or are aerospace/aeronautics terms ("aeolian," "canard," "Patriot"). Some terms are political ("Cold War," "mutual assured destruction"), but few acknowledge the Soviet/Russian space program ("Baikonur Cosmodrome," "cosmonaut," "Mir"). Impending events (the international space station, permanent habitation of Mars and the Moon) are touched on, but others such as deep space travel and human visits to the gas giants are avoided. Science fiction technologies (such as solar wind propulsion or Dyson spheres) are also ignored, even as Bernal spheres are discussed under "space settlement." General readers; lower-division undergraduates. C. S. Dunham Fairfield University



As humanity looks to the stars for its future, space technology and its uses become ever more fascinating, relevant, and complex. The updated Dictionary of Space Technology illustrates recent advances and makes accessible (in some cases for the very first time) nearly every word, concept, and event relating to this branch of science. It guides laypersons and professionals alike through humankind's activities in space, the beginnings of our extraterrestrial society, and the increasingly important role of space sciences in everyday life. From "absolute zero" to "zero-g," The Dictionary of Space Technology defines more than 1,500 terms, including: • Science basics: Fundamentals such as "acceleration," "gravity," and "velocity" are clearly explained, allowing readers new to the field to build their knowledge of the space age from the foundations up and providing more advanced readers with essential reference material. • Historic events: Profiles of milestones, such as the Apollo missions, the first flight of the Space Shuttle, and the exploration of Mars by the robot mini-rover Sojourner trace the evolution of space technology. Entries on future missions to space and the planned international space station chart what lies ahead. • Defense and the armed forces: Much of this material, such as information on ballistic missiles and satellite defenses, is available here for the first time due to recent government declassification. • Planetary sciences: Explore the contributions of space technology to sciences such as geology, ecology, and meteorology, all of which have become more important as we look more closely at our world and the worlds around us. Enhanced by 140 photographs and drawings, this volume holds the past, present, and future of space, space flight, and space technology. The up-to-date coverage of The Dictionary of Space Technology is the key to understanding everything from basic physics to complex technical matters to the wonders of the cosmos. Excerpted from The Dictionary of Space Technology by Joseph A. Angelo All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.