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heat shield

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noun Aerospace.
  1. a coating or structure that surrounds part of the nose cone or other vulnerable surfaces of a spacecraft and, by heat absorption or ablation, protects them from excessive heating during reentry.
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Origin of heat shield

First recorded in 1955–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for heat shield

heat shield

noun
  1. a coating or barrier for shielding from excessive heat, such as that experienced by a spacecraft on re-entry into the earth's atmosphere
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

heat shield in Science

heat shield

  1. A barrier that prevents a substance from absorbing heat energy from an outside source by absorbing and dissipating, or simply reflecting, that heat. Heat shields are commonly used to protect parts of a device from heat generated by its energy source, as in isolating the cabin of a car from its motor. Many spacecraft dissipate heat generated by friction with the atmosphere upon reentry using heat shields that melt and vaporize, dissipating the energy back into the atmosphere.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.