Assume a spacecraft with a less-than-perfect maneuvering thruster configuration such that in a particular attitude while attempting to dock, the thrusters will not allow translation along a particular axis. As a result, the spacecraft has to roll and translate in another direction to compensate.

It's like a linear analogue to gimbal lock. Is there a term for this situation?

  • $\begingroup$ PDSS Poorly Designed Spacecraft Syndrome? $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Dec 6 '16 at 17:04
  • $\begingroup$ SOL (closest star) $\endgroup$ – uhoh Dec 6 '16 at 17:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ In robotics I think I would use "non-holonomic". (It means a system, like a vehicle, that is constrained in certain axes in such a way that it can only get into certain positions with extra manoeuvring. Just like a car that cannot "slide" sideways into a parking space.) I haven't heard the term used in aerospace though it should be applicable... $\endgroup$ – Andy Dec 7 '16 at 8:20

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