One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounScience Fiction Astronautics
The part of a space mission in which the retro-rockets of a spacecraft are fired; the firing itself.
1with object To fire backwards; especially to fire (a rocket engine) in a direction which provides a spacecraft with reverse thrust and so slows any forward motion; to give (a spacecraft, missile, etc.) reverse thrust by firing a retro-rocket.
2no object To fire the retro-rockets of a spacecraft.
1950s; earliest use found in Journal of the Franklin Institute. From retro- + fire<br>1960s. From retro- + fire. Compare slightly earlier retro-fire and retro-firing.
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