orbiter

[awr-bi-ter]

noun U.S. Aerospace.

Also called space shuttle orbiter. the crew- and payload-carrying component of the space shuttle.
a space probe designed to orbit a planetary body or moon.

Compare lander.

Origin of orbiter

An Americanism dating back to 1950–55; orbit + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for orbiter

Contemporary Examples of orbiter

  • However, the probe stayed in contact with the Rosetta orbiter and has already sent back some photos.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Earthlings, We Landed on a Comet

    Matthew R. Francis

    November 12, 2014

  • The basic approach went as planned: after separating from the Rosetta orbiter, Philae coasted slowly to the comet surface.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Earthlings, We Landed on a Comet

    Matthew R. Francis

    November 12, 2014



British Dictionary definitions for orbiter

orbiter

noun

a spacecraft or satellite designed to orbit a planet or other body without landing on itCompare lander
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

Word Origin and History for orbiter
1954

agent noun from orbit (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper