Reorientation maneuver for spinning spacecraft

Christopher D. Rahn, Peter M. Barba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


A spacecraft spinning about its minor axis in the presence of energy dissipation is directionally unstable. Eventually, the spacecraft will reorient to a major axis spin. After the maneuver, the major axis spin rate can be either positive or negative. Correspondingly, the orientation of the spacecraft relative to the inertially fixed angular momentum vector is unpredictable. This paper demonstrates that the maneuver, when augmented with two thruster firings based on gyro measurements, provides a desired final orientation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)724-728
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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