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a term that annoys me

Posted by: 109Ace - Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:02 pm
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a term that annoys me 
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Post a term that annoys me   Posted on: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:02 pm
Ok, first of all I don't have any problems with 'suborbital flight' or even 'suborbital space'
but sometimes another term it used, especially in the media, and especially by FOX NEWS, which IMO has a collective IQ equal to that of a retarded 10 year old.
They say that SS! reached 'suborbit' what the heck is a suborbit? a small orbit? NO. an orbit is an orbit, a suborbit is NOT an orbit. you can't 'reach' a suborbit. :P :P :P :P

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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:48 pm
I dont see whats wrong with sub-orbit. From my perspective, it should be a valid word. You have orbit and you have suborbit, actually, we are in suborbit as well if you really want to start nitpicking, but i suppose anyone will understand the term suborbit. I'm not from England or America so can't tell if the word itself is bullshit, but just looking at the word tells me it is not as illogic as you say it is. ;)


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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 25, 2004 6:23 pm
Seen from a mathematical or philosophical point of view 109Ace is right. To show it by another example - in Star Trek a very important term is "Sub-Space" or "Sub-Room" (I don't know what's the right english word - the german translation is "Sub-Raum"). I tried to find out what that really is but didn't find any definition in mathematical, physical or astronomical dictionaries. Then one day I got a special book concerning Star Trek giving two definitions but they don't say much.

From my rare knowledges of Quantum Theory and String Theory etc. I could create a possible definition - but i would be a little bit philosophical.

Concerning "suborbit" similar difficulties are given. An orbit is well defined as a closed into itself returning way around an object - so what's the difference between orbit and somethiing that is less than an orbit? Is it not closed? Or is it closed but not retruning into itself but taking tunrpikes? Is it both of this?

A concrete question is what the adjective "suborbital" really imeans. A suborbital course may lead to altitudes of thousands of kilometers - and these are altitudes above several orbits. So this adh´jective doesn't simply concern altitudes. Does the word "orbit do that?.

I don't want to blame the media - they have to use short terms and to publish articles simply and quickly to be read to reach the genral public. But the term "suborbit really is suggesting wrong imaginations I think.

So it seems worth to me to discuss the topic.



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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:38 pm
not quite picking u pon the difference between saying suborbit and suborbital flight... care to elaborate a bit for me?

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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:43 pm
suborbit strikes me as a valid word- meaning under orbit of course. of course, that doesn't mean you're not right, fox news is stupid and the way they use it really is dumb. any hyper-conservative news source that tries to seem reasonable has to come over as dumb to a knowledgable person at least a good amount of the time.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 25, 2004 8:32 pm
like I said, you reach a 'suborbit'
suborbital flight is space flight-so at altitudes where one could potentially achieve a stable orbit if it had enough speed-only one doesn't have enough speed and falls back to Earth. this means that they have just done a suborbital flight, however, since they fell back to earth, they did not reach a stable orbit or any kind of orbit, because of their low speed. so...saying that they reached a 'suborbit' is misleading

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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 26, 2004 6:51 am
Hello, Cathleen,

I'm suspecting that "suborbit" is suggesting a stable location of a spacecraft or another object. I suppose everyone has in mind the "orbit" as a location where an object remains once it has reached this location. So many people might apply this imagination to "suborbit" too without as´king what suborbit might really be. So the term "suborbit" seems to be nonsense.

The adjective "orbital" doesn't express a stable location but the fitness to reach an orbit or to work in it etc.. In this sense the adjective "suborbital" is a correct term because it says that the fitness is less than required to reach an orbit or to work in orbit.

What do you think about this? Does it sound a little bit thinking and speaking too exactly?



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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:27 pm
eraurocktchick87 wrote:
not quite picking u pon the difference between saying suborbit and suborbital flight... care to elaborate a bit for me?


<pedant>
It comes down to context IMHO. It turns an adjective into a noun. You can only use the noun in the context of "reaching" sub-orbit, which is something nonsensical as we are all already in suborbit!

Whereas with the adjective "suborbital" you are referring to a mere attribute of the flight, that of being below orbit, which is usually coupled with the defining attribute of being a certain height or being in "space".

If I'm wrong, someone please give a non-redundant sentence that uses the word suborbit.
</pedant>


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Post    Posted on: Fri Aug 27, 2004 3:13 am
Okay, thanks guys...

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Post    Posted on: Fri Aug 27, 2004 1:35 pm
Ummm... the English language is a wonderfully mallable thing. Very strictly interpreted, the word 'suborbital' means any altitude less than a full orbit ... so, if I stand up from my chair and JUMP... why, I've achieved suborbital flight. :D

Alert the media... I've just done it.

Now... how LOW is orbital height? Ummm... if one was to develop a frictionless satellite with unlimited motive energy, could an orbit be simply one foot above the highest mountain in the satellite's path? In that case--since I live in the mountains--I might indeed be able to jump ABOVE an orbital level.

Hmmm.

Perhaps, I will now go and have another cup of coffee since my head is hurting with all this thinking. :lol:

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Post    Posted on: Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:06 pm
I completely agree that Fox News is acting in a typically stupid fashion by using the new term "suborbit." First, its not a well defined term and there isn't any need for a new term to describe a sub-orbital flight. I suspect they mean by "suborbit" the region of space that most suborbital flights will reach as opposed to the region of space in which most orbital craft fly. But this gives the wrong impression. It suggests that if you simply fly higher -- to the "orbit" region of space, then you automatically go into orbit. It's a mistake that Newsweek made many months ago in their coverage of the x-prize competition.

Oh, and when I say Fox News is acting typically stupid, I mean typically stupid of most media organizations, not that they worse than the rest.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:40 pm
author wrote:
So, if I stand up from my chair and JUMP... why, I've achieved suborbital flight. :D

Alert the media... I've just done it.


I bet every person, including myself and my little sister, who reads this post will get up from their chair and jump ;)

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Post    Posted on: Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:45 pm
I actually went flying for real today.
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suborbital lol

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Post    Posted on: Sat Aug 28, 2004 4:56 am
In geology, and other disciplines we use "sub-parallel" to describe layers of rock that are aligned, put not technically (geometrically) parallel, in that they wiggle just a bit.

I would say suborbit is a valid term but I would probably only apply it to "decayed" orbits. Space Ship One might be an extreme of that.

Orbit, as already pointed out is a really wide term that doesn't really warrant "sub" in the way say 'circular' does. A sub-circular orbit is still just as much an orbit as a perfectly circular one.

I am mostly happy that the media metions orbit, sub or otherwise.

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Post    Posted on: Sat Aug 28, 2004 7:26 am
The term "sub-circular" seems to be an additional new term complicating the question more than to clear it.

Non-circular orbits are eleiptical orbits that are well-definded. Many elliptical orbits are used as transit-orbits. Their perigees are loctaed on initial circular orbits whereas their apogees are located at future target orbits. Especially they are used to establish satellites at geosynchronous orbit.

idiom, do you use "sub-circular" in the sense of elliptical or has it a wider definition?

Not long ago I'v read an english description saying that the trajectory of the SSO-flight at June 21st had a perigee very very near to the center of earth. This woul mean that the suborbital trajectory had been an elliptical orbit if and only if one special condition would have been fulfilled: an earthian diameter of very few meters only.

from this it seems to follow, that a course only can be said to be orbital if there are no obstacles preventing an object flying that course to return to the point of the beginning of its flight and then to repeat the flight without any new launch. Regardless wether this orbit is circula or elliptical.

Is "sub-circular" including a circel that cannot be flowb along completely bacuse of obstacles?

And are there any mathematical definitions of "suborbit" or "sub-circular"?



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