/tran"sit, -zit/, n., v., transited, transiting.n.1. the act or fact of passing across or through; passage from one place to another.2. conveyance or transportation from one place to another, as of persons or goods, esp., local public transportation: city transit. Cf. mass transit.3. a transition or change.4. Astron.a. the passage of a heavenly body across the meridian of a given location or through the field of a telescope.b. the passage of Mercury or Venus across the disk of the sun, or of a satellite or its shadow across the face of its primary.c. See meridian circle.5. Astrol. the passage of a planet in aspect to another planet or a specific point in a horoscope.6. Survey.a. Also called transit instrument. an instrument, as a theodolite, having a telescope that can be transited, used for measuring horizontal and sometimes vertical angles.b. a repeating transit theodolite.7. (cap.) U.S. Aerospace. one of a series of satellites for providing positional data to ships and aircraft.v.t.8. to pass across or through.9. Survey. to turn (the telescope of a transit) in a vertical plane in order to reverse direction; plunge.10. Astron. to cross (a meridian, celestial body, etc.).v.i.11. to pass over or through something; make a transit.12. Astron. to make a transit across a meridian, celestial body, etc.[1400-50; late ME (n. and v.) < L transitus a going across, passage, equiv. to transi-, var. s. of transire to cross (trans- TRANS- + -ire to go) + -tus suffix of v. action]
* * *any of the first series of U.S. navigation satellites. Launched by the U.S. Navy in 1960–61, the Transit satellites were developed to provide an accurate, all-weather navigational aid for seagoing vessels (including submarines) and aircraft. The system was so designed that any such craft could pinpoint its position by using a computer specially programmed to translate coded radio signals beamed from the satellites into latitude and longitude.Transit 1-B, the first in the series, was placed in a north-south polar orbit on April 13, 1960. It had only a 40-month life-span, however. Three advanced Transit models equipped with nuclear-power generators were launched from June 22, 1960, to Nov. 15, 1961.
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