I followed the string of notes regarding the disturbances caused by the Voyager tape-recorder. It sounds like the recorder has a net angular momentum when the tape is running and that the hydrazine thrusters are used to compensate this. This was presumably necessary during the planetary encounters when trying to take high-resolution images of planets or moons. The main antenna also has a relatively narrow beam-width. I have several related questions. Why use the hydrazine thrusters - are there no reaction wheels? Does the antenna pointing get disturbed by the operation of the tape-recorder. Is the axis of the tape-recorders angular momentum along the same axis as the antenna (in which case it doesn't matter much if the spacecraft rotates slightly)? Is Voyager-1 spin-stabilized?


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There are no reaction wheels on Voyager. They were new technology at the time (the first use I can find is the OGO series of satellites, first launched in 1964), that may have been an argument against their use.

Voyager is not spin-stabilized. It used thrusters for stabilization, to provide a stationary platform for the cameras.

I haven't been able to find information on the orientation of the tape recorder. No diagram of the internals of Voyager's main body, either.


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