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Push the Envelope Means Go Beyond the Expected Limits

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Why do we refer to “testing or going beyond limits” as pushing the envelope? In aeronautics, to push the envelope means to try to go past the edge of the aircraft’s perceived capability. In the 1980s, the phrase was popularized by Tom Wolfe’s book about NASA’s test pilot program, The Right Stuff. (Bookshop|Amazon) This is part of a complete episode.

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