How does Hayabusa2's return capsule orient and stabilize after separation and before and during reentry? Have it some onboard system like RCS or reaction wheels, or does it rotate around longitudinal axis, or does it use some passive aerodynamic orientation and stabilization in the upper atmosphere by its heat shield at the very beginning of reentry?

  • $\begingroup$ I almost edited your title to read "Does...? If so, how?" but then I decided that that can be addressed in answers. That it orients and stabilizes actively is a premise of your "How...?" question. It might not do that actively, but simply remain oriented in some way. It's up to if you'd like to adjust the wording or not to remove the premise that it does. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Dec 6, 2020 at 0:31

1 Answer 1


The sample return capsule has no active attitude control system. It is ejected from the main spacecraft with a 20 rpm spin.

Since the reentry capsule is flown by totally passive aerodynamic stability, the flight characteristics are to be carefully investigated both statically and dynamically, throughout the entire reentry flight and descending flight followed by the parachute deployment.

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