Descent Vehicle


Also found in: Acronyms.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Descent Vehicle

 

a spacecraft designed for descent, with braking, and landing on the earth or another celestial body. On manned spacecraft the descent vehicle is a cabin containing the crew; on unmanned spacecraft it is an instrument capsule. The descent vehicle is equipped with radio-communications, temperature-control, and life-support systems, a control panel, and seats for the astronauts. It also has descent control systems, a retrorocket engine, parachutes, and a soft-landing system. Its outer surface is covered with a heat shield. A descent vehicle may have a spherical, conical, or other shape. During atmospheric descent the descent vehicle uses the atmosphere’s aerodynamic drag. When braking is used during descent, the descent may have a ballistic or glide trajectory.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
It severed the nylon tethers, allowing the hovering descent vehicle to fly off and ditch itself in the dust about 650 meters away.
In addition, each descent vehicle would in turn deploy a "kite" with a package of instruments at the end of its long "string," to measure the speed and direction of Venus's winds.