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Vocabulary List

  • angle of attack - the angle of the orbiter's wings to the oncoming airflow

    diagram of angle of attack

  • bank angle - (roll) the angle between the wings and the horizon

    digram of bank angle

  • drag - the force that resists the motion of the aircraft through the air, friction

  • double delta wing - a wind design that combines a forward placed delta wing with a main delta wing. The forward placed delta wing creates vortices that flow smoothly over the main delta wing, which creates greater lift and reduces drag.

    diagram showing double delta wing

  • glide slope - the angle at which the orbiter descends with respect to the ground

    diagram showing glide slope

  • hypersonic flight - refers to speeds above Mach 5 - five times the speed of sound

  • lift - upward force produced by air passing over and under the wing of an airplane

  • orbit - the circular path of the shuttle in space, around the Earth

  • Mach - term used to describe the speed of objects relative to the speed of sound

  • Mach 1 - the speed of sound; approximately 1226km/hr (762 mi/hr)

  • unit rate - a ratio written as a fraction comparing two different values, the value in the denominator is always 1 (examples: 55 miles / 1 hour or $0.99 / 1 pound)

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