On Orbit

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Sun Apr 18 14:49:32 UTC 2010

Catching up on old podcasts this morning, I heard this on the "365 Days of
Astronomy" podcast from 25 March: "then once on orbit it deploys out into
this large, 21-foot mirror."

At first I thought it was a slip of the tongue for "in orbit," but then the
speaker, an engineer for Ball Aerospace, and the interviewer, a PR flack for
the same company, went on using "on orbit" throughout the interview. As in,
"has a telescope ever been aligned on orbit?"

Full transcript and podcast are here:

I've no idea how prevalent this usage is or if it is centered in the space
industry. A quick googling shows they're not the only ones, but it appears
to be far rarer than "in orbit."

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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