I was reading this NTRS document about a spin-stabilized solids-only small launcher. The paper mentions that the proposed design (called 428A) will be spin-stabilized during launch and gravity turn. This confuses me as extra non-roll forces during spin-stabilization would cause gyration/precession during flight. How does this intuitively work?

  • $\begingroup$ I think the gyration is just anticipated and dealt with. Figure 47 on page 126 shows that the simulated "inertial flight path angle" rapidly builds up to around 40 degrees then wobbles around that until burnout. $\endgroup$
    – Erin Anne
    Dec 29, 2022 at 10:10
  • $\begingroup$ @ErinAnne 40 degrees of deviation from prograde/spin axis is quite a lot. I am assuming that a lot of dV is lost from cosine losses $\endgroup$
    – WarpPrime
    Dec 30, 2022 at 15:07
  • $\begingroup$ yeah, this type of vehicle is mostly optimizing for simplicity (in part by evolving from existing designs and parts), not delta-V efficiency. It's still amazing that it's nearly going sideways, though. $\endgroup$
    – Erin Anne
    Dec 31, 2022 at 0:19


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