MOMENTUM TRANSFER AS A MEANS OF DESPINNING A ROTATING SPACECRAFT.
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV SILVER SPRING MD APPLIED PHYSICS LAB
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The angular rate of a rotating spacecraft can be reduced by transferring momentum from the spacecraft body to a pair of masses attached to cables wrapped around it. The cables unwind and retard spin with a counteracting couple. Under the proper conditions, spin can be reduced to zero this is found to be independent of initial spin rate. Detaching the cables at this instant leaves the spacecraft motionless. Residual spin due to tolerance accumulation can be minimized by releasing cables when radial rather than tangent to the spacecraft. Author
- Unmanned Spacecraft