This answer here mentions the STS-94's ability to gimbal up to 20 degrees in all directions, that got me thinking, what exactly is the maximum ever feasibly implemented? I've seen a lot of information on different forums mentioning numbers below 20 degrees. I was hoping for something like this comparison of all engines:


But with the gimbal range for all engines also included, or at the very minimum a guess at the highest gimbal range ever used in a production rocket.

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    $\begingroup$ Of possible interest: non-gimbaling TVC: space.stackexchange.com/questions/25442/… $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Oct 17 '18 at 20:40
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    $\begingroup$ 20 degrees is certainly the highest range of gimbaling I know of, but it’s not a figure that’s frequently provided alongside other engine specs. $\endgroup$ – Russell Borogove Oct 17 '18 at 21:10
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    $\begingroup$ @RussellBorogove so basically the one I listed was the highest? I thought 20 degrees sounded very high in comparison to the average 6 degrees or 11 degrees I found quoted on most craft. $\endgroup$ – Magic Octopus Urn Oct 17 '18 at 21:13
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    $\begingroup$ Incidentally, STS-94 (or STS-xx in general) is a mission identifier, referring to a single flight, not the name of the launcher. The design of the complete stack is “STS” or informally “space shuttle”; the spaceplane without boosters and external tank is “STS orbiter” or “space shuttle orbiter”. The individual orbiter airframes can be identified by name or as OV-10x numbers. $\endgroup$ – Russell Borogove Oct 17 '18 at 21:14
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    $\begingroup$ I can’t rule out that larger gimbal ranges have been used on something like guided missiles (though those generally use fins for maneuvering), and while my knowledge of launchers is broad, it’s not encyclopedic, so I am reluctant to answer. $\endgroup$ – Russell Borogove Oct 17 '18 at 21:17

This is not an exhaustive list, feel free to add to it.

RS-25 - (SLS, Shuttle)


Merlin - Falcon 9


Shuttle SRBs

RS-68 - SLS, Delta IV

F1 - Saturn V


HM7-B - Ariane 5 upper stage

NERVA - concept

Long March



(although the RD-00110R Vernier thrusters have 45°)

  • $\begingroup$ "yes" haha, I take that to mean they can't do it very well? "Two are fixed and two can gimbal in two axis." $\endgroup$ – Magic Octopus Urn Oct 18 '18 at 11:33
  • $\begingroup$ Is "TS-25" a typo for RS-25, aka SSME? $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Oct 18 '18 at 13:14
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    $\begingroup$ I think vernier thrusters would be an applicable, valid sub-class of the engines. $\endgroup$ – SF. Oct 18 '18 at 21:54
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    $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble You are correct. Answer has been amended. $\endgroup$ – Coomie Oct 22 '18 at 3:21
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    $\begingroup$ Energia core engines gimbal up to 7° according to me in a comment without citation on another QA - finding a reference is left as an exercise. 😉 $\endgroup$ – Russell Borogove Oct 22 '18 at 4:57

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