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chicken switch

noun, Rocketry Slang.
a device by which an astronaut may eject the capsule in which he or she rides in the event that a rocket malfunctions. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Slang definitions & phrases for chicken switch

chicken switch

noun phrase

  1. A control used to destroy a malfunctioning rocket in flight; a destruct switch
  2. A control used to eject an astronaut or pilot from a damaged vehicle

[1950s+ Astronautics; chicken fr the sense ''coward''; egads an acronym for electronic ground automatic destruct sequencer and coincides with an archaic interjection of dismay]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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