I love learning new words and terminology. And my favourite type of terminology is space terminology. Seriously. I mean, check out this glossary for example.
There are just so many odd and interesting—and yes, sometimes tricky to pronounce—terms to choose from.
Recently, while doing some spacey-type research, I stumbled across the word “ballute.” Now, some of you may already be familiar. Turns out the original ballute was invented by Goodyear way back in 1958. This aerodynamic braking device—which is a combination of balloon and parachute (hence the name, obviously)—was designed to be used at high altitudes and supersonic velocities. So, in aircrafts and spacecrafts.
In aircrafts, for example, ballutes have been attached to free-falling bombs to help slow them down and deliver them to their targets. Yeah, I’m not really a fan of this use. Bombs and war? Not my thing.
But using ballutes to bring astronauts safely back from orbit? I’m down with that. Totally.