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In mathematics, a saddle point is a point in the domain of a function of two variables which is a stationary point but not a local extremum. At such a point, in general, the surface resembles a saddle that curves up in one direction, and curves down in a different direction (like a mountain pass). In terms of contour lines, a saddle point can be recognized, in general, by a contour that appears to intersect itself. For example, two hills separated by a high pass will show up a saddle point, at the top of the pass, like a figure-eight contour line.

Used In Space Shuttle Design.