What's the usage of on in SpaceX rocket lifts off on first commercial satellite launch? Is it used metaphorically here?


  • Its better not to critique the grammar used in titles, as it can be modified for editing or other reasons. Written correctly, this should read like "The SpaceX rocket lifts off on its first commercial satellite launch and trip into space.". On really refers to the trip, not the launch itself.
    – user3169
    Commented Aug 24, 2014 at 16:39
  • google.com.hk/… I think the search results pretty much show that "trip" is not necessarily required. @user3169
    – Kinzle B
    Commented Apr 23, 2016 at 11:33

1 Answer 1


It is used in the sense of "on the occasion of":

SpaceX rocket lifts off on the occasion of the first commercial satellite launch

Titles often use shorted sentences that need some "decoding" - it's almost like they developed their own grammar.

You see similar (and worse) things in financial reporting:

Dow Jones Index drops 70 points on fears of inflation

Similar use of "on" but even more contrived…

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