One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small auxiliary rocket on a spacecraft or missile, fired in the direction of travel to slow the craft down, for example when landing on the surface of a planet.
- ‘If space is a vacuum, then how do space capsule's retrorockets steer?’
- ‘Scientists studied the rover landing site images to determine the likely reflectance properties of Mars Polar Lander's parachute and the blast zone created on the Martian surface by Mars Polar Lander's retrorockets.’
- ‘The entry, descent and landing system will utilise key technologies involving airbags and possibly retrorockets.’
- ‘At that point, the probe drops down on a tether that is as skinny as a shoelace, to keep it a safe distance away when the lander's retrorockets fire.’
- ‘The pod's retrorockets fired up, easing its fall but they were a little too slow in activating.’
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