The Only Thing NASA Is Better At Than Space Exploration: Making Up Acronyms

The Only Thing NASA Is Better At Than Space Exploration: Making Up Acronyms

The sounding rocket you can see above will be launched from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on December 4, and according to NASA it "will be MUSIC to the ears of aspiring and early career engineers testing new space technology on a suborbital vehicle." That's because the name of the payload stands for because the name of the payload stands for Multiple User Suborbital Instrument Carrier (MUSIC).

I am a long-time admirer of NASA's creativity when it comes to creating acronyms for their missions. Here is a selection of the best.

ARTEMIS

Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of the Moon's Interaction with the Sun

The Only Thing NASA Is Better At Than Space Exploration: Making Up Acronyms

BARREL

Balloon Array for Radiation belt Relativistic Electron Losses

The Only Thing NASA Is Better At Than Space Exploration: Making Up Acronyms

CALIPSO

Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation satellite

The Only Thing NASA Is Better At Than Space Exploration: Making Up Acronyms

CATS

Cloud-Aerosol Transport System

The Only Thing NASA Is Better At Than Space Exploration: Making Up Acronyms

FUSE

Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer

The Only Thing NASA Is Better At Than Space Exploration: Making Up Acronyms

GRAIL

Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory

The Only Thing NASA Is Better At Than Space Exploration: Making Up Acronyms

IMAGE

Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration

The Only Thing NASA Is Better At Than Space Exploration: Making Up Acronyms

IRIS

Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph

The Only Thing NASA Is Better At Than Space Exploration: Making Up Acronyms

MESSENGER

Mercury, Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging

The Only Thing NASA Is Better At Than Space Exploration: Making Up Acronyms

OSIRIS-REX

Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security - Regolith Explorer

The Only Thing NASA Is Better At Than Space Exploration: Making Up Acronyms

SOFIA

Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

The Only Thing NASA Is Better At Than Space Exploration: Making Up Acronyms

SOHO

Solar and Heliospheric Observatory

The Only Thing NASA Is Better At Than Space Exploration: Making Up Acronyms

STEREO

Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory

The Only Thing NASA Is Better At Than Space Exploration: Making Up Acronyms

TRACE

Transition Region and Coronal Explorer

The Only Thing NASA Is Better At Than Space Exploration: Making Up Acronyms

TWINS

Two Wide-Angle Imaging Neutral-Atom Spectrometers

The Only Thing NASA Is Better At Than Space Exploration: Making Up Acronyms

WISE

Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer

The Only Thing NASA Is Better At Than Space Exploration: Making Up Acronyms

All images by NASA

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