Descent Vehicle


Also found in: Acronyms.

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.

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.