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heat shield

noun, Aerospace.
a coating or structure that surrounds part of the nose cone or other vulnerable surfaces of a spacecraft and, by heat absorption or ablation, protects them from excessive heating during reentry.
Origin of heat shield
1955-60 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for heat shield
  • It indicated that the craft had a loose heat shield.
  • It was the first of six vehicles to be built, though not equipped for orbital flight-having no engines nor a working heat shield.
  • Inside, the lander was sandwiched between a back shell that housed a parachute on top and an ablative heat shield on the bottom.
  • After popping off its heat shield, the rover will use landing radar to orient itself to the ground.
  • With proper heat shield replacements, the craft will be able to be reused up to ten times.
  • You're greeted by a full-size model of the space shuttle, complete with a clear explanation of how the heat shield works.
  • The capsule could then receive a new heat shield and be refurbished to fly again.
  • Earlier this year, engineers also had to fix problems with the rover's heat shield and parachute.
  • Compare that to the much smaller, one use, heat shield on the normal re-entry capsules.
  • If it can image the rover along with the jettisoned heat shield, undeniable evidence should be no problem.
British Dictionary definitions for heat shield

heat shield

a coating or barrier for shielding from excessive heat, such as that experienced by a spacecraft on re-entry into the earth's atmosphere
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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heat shield in Science
heat shield  
A barrier that prevents a substance from absorbing heat energy from an outside source by absorbing and dissipating, or simply reflecting, that heat. Heat shields are commonly used to protect parts of a device from heat generated by its energy source, as in isolating the cabin of a car from its motor. Many spacecraft dissipate heat generated by friction with the atmosphere upon reentry using heat shields that melt and vaporize, dissipating the energy back into the atmosphere.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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