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enter image description here GIF

Watching the SpaceX video RADARSAT Constellation Mission after T+ 52:00 we can see at least the first two satellites deploy.

In each case, the second stage rolls one way during release of one of the satellites then stops and rolls back the other way.

Why are the back-and-forth rolls necessary, and isn't it a bad idea to release a heavy, off-axis mounted payload in the axial direction during a roll?

If the deployment was radial like in some ISRO cubesats I can understand, but these are axial deployments but from off-axis locations. I don't understand what's going on with all these rolls, especially as the satellite disengages from the 2nd stage.

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I can't find much more on this but it just occurred to me that they are launching them at slightly different orbital altitudes (as seen in the animation). I'm guessing now that it seems to just space them over orbits.

I would love to know the real answer. (I'm leaving my answer up so that the comments below are not destroyed)

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    $\begingroup$ I would of thought so. An interesting question as there is not much information about it online. You've got to remember that these are fairly small satellites so will most likely rely on a reaction wheel which will be hard to use of the craft is unstable $\endgroup$ – Caspar P Jun 13 at 11:45
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    $\begingroup$ I hope the further detail added above helps a bit. $\endgroup$ – Caspar P Jun 13 at 11:52
  • $\begingroup$ You're completely right. I was sure it was SPM. Apologies and changed. $\endgroup$ – Caspar P Jun 13 at 15:14
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh The original answer focused on spin stabilization of deployed satellites. As you can read here, the Radarsat Constellation satellites are three axis stabilized, so most of the original answer was not applicable. directory.eoportal.org/web/eoportal/satellite-missions/r/rcm $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Jun 14 at 0:54
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    $\begingroup$ I'll keep searching as I find this a really interesting question. $\endgroup$ – Caspar P Jun 14 at 6:28

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