from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The initial movement by which or the instant in which a rocket or other such craft commences flight.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The point in the launch of a rocket or an aircraft where it leaves contact with the ground.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. the initial ascent of a rocket from its launching pad.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the initial ascent of a rocket from its launching pad
- v. depart from the ground
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The earliest the shuttle could be ready for liftoff is June 17, however there is a conflict on that date with the scheduled launch of NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter/Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
But, consider this, the first time an ascent stage fails after liftoff from the lunar surface is the last trip to the moon for quite some time.
In the current lunar lander ascent configuration, if your primary ascent stage fails after liftoff from the lunar surface but before you make it safely to lunar orbit, then landing the aborted vehicle with the engines failed or something else gone haywire so a pre-positioned unmanned vehicle can come to your rescue, is fatal 100% of the time since the landing of a crewed vehicle requires a working non-aborted system.
Ann Kellan there in Atlanta on the Titan 4 liftoff from a short time ago.
In the weak, graying sky, Maia saw the blinking lights of aircraft in liftoff.
Twenty-plus years of covering the space program and I come to learn that it's not the awe-striking power of the explosion hopefully controlled known as the liftoff that poses the chief danger to shuttle astronauts -
GRAHAM: But right now the only assignment they have is that space shuttle liftoff, which is the same kind of excitement you get when you board an airplane with six imams and a suitcase full of box cutters.
Mike Moses, chairman of the mission management team, called the liftoff "spectacular," except for a few minor technical hitches, including one involving a malfunction sensor for a fuel turbo-pump that was not expected to cause significant problems.
And in Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu declined to call the liftoff a provocative act and said it wasn't yet clear whether it was an attempt to place a satellite in orbit or test a long-range missile test.
North Korea says the liftoff was a peaceful satellite launch, but other nations believe it was a test of its missile technology.