# Questions tagged [guidance]

Questions which relate to how spacecraft and rockets navigate and stay on course.

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### Who developed the mathematics used to correct the trajectory of Apollo 13?

The 1967 NASA technical note D-4246, Midcourse Guidance Procedure with Single Position Fix Obtained From Onboard Optical Measurements describes correcting the trajectory of a spacecraft traveling ...
870 views

### Could the Apollo Lunar Module be flown to a landing without the LEM Guidance Computer?

Inspired by answers to Could the lunar module have moved to a different spot? question but not talking about that specific relaunch scenario: Could the LEM stack (descent configuration) be flown ...
96 views

### RCS or Reaction Wheel for a 30kg cubesat

I am working on the design of a cubesat, it weighs approximately 30 kg and I am doing the Navigation and Guide Control system. I was wondering if I had some blueprint for some RCS or Reaction Wheels ...
371 views

### How does an Atlas V control roll?

My understanding is that you want to control roll in a rocket, along with the other directions. An Atlas V has a single RD-180 engine but I didn't see anything about vernier engines. I guess the RD-...
211 views

### Did the Apollo LM's cockpit altitude displays account for the pointing angle of the radar altimeter?

The Apollo LM had a radar altimeter which was particularly critical in the final stages of landing. It could be set to two different pitch angles, either aimed backwards by 24º to be used during the ...
188 views

### How exactly was Apollo CSM attitude changed (from a current one to a new required one)?

This answer to a related question suggests that the order in which rotations around three principal axes are applied (in order to estimate the conversion of an attitude to a set of roll, pitch and yaw ...
85 views

I'm 1st grade physics student. I have learnt about units, vectors, kinetics, kinematics, Newton's laws of motion, galileo frames of references: galilean transformation, conservation of energy, ...
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### Confusion with Apollo CSM attitude maneuvers (roll, pitch and yaw) during coasting to/from the Moon

Some time after Transposition, Docking, and Extraction maneuver (when coasting to the Moon) or after Trans Earth Injection (when coasting back from the Moon), the spacecraft's (CSM) guidance platform ...
117 views

### Gravity turn: How to reorient along zero angle of attack

I was doing some back-of-the-envelopish calculations on gravity turns. Now the basics are clear to me (I think), but this detail escapes me: After liftoff we perform pitchover manouvre at time T+x, ...
154 views

### Can reaction wheels be used for detumbling?

During orbit insertion, the satellite can start with a high tip-off rate which requires detumbling. From what I have read, detumbling is usually done using magnetorquers. I was wondering if ...
225 views

### What was back-up plan in case of Apollo CSM Primary Guidance System IMU went to gimbal lock?

In Apollo-11, during preparations for docking with Command and Service Module in lunar orbit, Armstrong and Aldrin managed to put Lunar Module Primary Guidance System Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) ...
543 views

### Samples of old guidance software using computational resources on Earth implementing navigation in space

Answers to Given small computational resources how navigation was implemented ( Not Samples of old guidance software) are excellent. I was stunned to see an article mentioning 65KB was used to ...
103 views

### Iterative Guidance Mode (Saturn V ascent guidance)

I tried to implement the iterative guidance mode algorithm given in the paper "Development of the iterative guidance mode with its application to various vehicles and missions" by D. C. CHANDLER and I....
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### Optimal Trajectory for SLV in the last stage

I have developed an algorithm for SLV guidance using optimal control theory. I need a reference trajectory to verify my algorithm. The algorithm requires the initial position and velocity coordinates ...
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### Double redundancy for the Saturn V LVDC computer memory, how were disagreements resolved?

In the Smarter Every Day video How did NASA Steer the Saturn V?- Smarter Every Day 223 Destin is talking with Luke Talley about the memory modules used in the Saturn V LVDC computer. This computer ...
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### Did the 1202 error and associated reboot prevent disaster on Apollo 11 landing?

Most accounts of the famous 1202 error reported by the AGS during landing of the Apollo 11 LM characterize the event as result of the successful operation of the AGS, flushing an resetting an ...
359 views

### Apollo-11 delta-v “due to residual pressure in the docking tunnel pushing the spacecraft apart” detected as it happened? Was it corrected?

This answer to How far off did Apollo 11 land? mentions that: Eagle was already 3 miles downrange from the expected position at the start of descent, due to residual pressure in the docking ...
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### What is a “Lear Processor” and how did it work?

This answer to the question What was the mascon “fix” used by Apollo 12? says (in part): The Tindallgrams have some notes on the matter. See pages 307 to 354 of http://www.collectspace.com/resources/...
94 views

### Satellite mission design/performance requirements to attitude/orbit control design specifications

Are there any good sources that discuss: the steps involved in deriving attitude/orbit control design specifications, from satellite mission design/performance requirements?
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### How did the Apollo guidance computer handle parity bit errors?

The following answers mention the use of parity bits in the Apollo guidance computer: this answer to Bits per core for the different versions of the Apollo guidance computer core rope memory? this ...
328 views

### Stability of rocket during flight; why does the lift force change direction when the center of pressure moves?

I am currently learning about fins and the role they play in the stability of a rocket during flight. I came across a relatively minor problem. Here is one of the resources I'm looking at: http://www....
286 views

### Launch profile autopilot

I'm new here, and I am delighted this forum exists! I'm working on a spaceflight simulator (FSX SpacePort) and currently, developing automated guidance module (I guess, a space autopilot). The ...
613 views

### How did the Apollo guidance computer handle the Earth-Moon system's rotation around the Sun?

In this comment I just wrote: "...but at all other times it is just doing math to calculate its trajectory." The math needed a stable clock Timing accuracy of the Apollo Guidance Computer? (also 2, ...
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### Lunar ascent module: Guidance Law [duplicate]

I was wondering if there was an optimal law for the thrust (magnitude and direction) during the lunar ascent. I have read many things about this topic in this forum but I still have some doubts. It ...
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### Soyuz Steering during Re-Entry

In this youtube video, it talks about steering Soyuz by changing lift. Why does roll rotation help in changing lift and also helping in cross range steering? I am looking for an answer from ...
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### Bits per core for the different versions of the Apollo guidance computer core rope memory?

The first version of the Apollo guidance computer had a ROM of only 12 K words of 16 bit. Later it was doubled to 24 K and finaly tripled to 36 K words. The first version of core rope read only ...
126 views

### Apollo guidance computer ROM addressing using the ROM bank register, what is the bank register size?

The Apollo guidance computer had 36 K words of core rope ROM. To address 36864 words, a 15 bit memory address for up to 32768 words is not enough, 16 bits are needed. This Wikipedia article describes ...
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### How are Launch Ascent Trajectories and Reentry Constraints Being Implemented these days?

Historically, endoatmospheric guidance for launch ascent has been open loop and suboptimal. Recently, however, it seems as though there has been renewed interest in determining optimal endoatmospheric ...
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### Why would someone use Modified Rodrigues Parameters over Quaternions for spacecraft attitude estimation? And vice versa?

I see quite some papers on spacecraft attitude determination and control, that rely on quaternions. While some others rely on MRPs. The advantage that I see so far is that... for quaternions, the ...
342 views

### How accurate can a satellite's orbit be?

How precise can an artificial satellite be when it comes to following the exact orbit in relation to Earth or hitting the same point above Earth in orbit? Which orbit would be the most stable for this?...
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### What are common guidance strategies for a finite orbital maneuver?

Suppose we have our spacecraft in a circular orbit around the Moon and we want to transfer it to an elliptic orbit with a medium-thrust (10-100N) retrograde burn. Based on the current state estimate, ...
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### How does the Apollo LM ascent guidance program P12 actually work?

P12 is the AGC guidance program for normal ascent from the lunar surface to orbit. According to the mission planning documents, after separation and ignition, the ascent stage holds its initial ...
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### Machine Learning and Classical Navigation, Guidance and Control in Space Exploration

Due to the increasing availability of large quantities of data and computational power, machine learning (ML) is providing increasingly better results in various fields. Much research has been done on ...
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### Small-bodies landing strategies

Looking at past landing missions on small bodies such as Eros, Itokawa and 67P I found different landing strategies Eros: NEAR Shoemaker probe performed 4 impulsive pre-planned open-loop maneuvers to ...
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### Timing accuracy of the Apollo Guidance Computer?

The AGC timing reference came from a 2.048 MHz crystal clock. But how accurate was this clock circuit? Note 3 of this schematic: "The value of the follwing components to be determined at unit test" is ...
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### Was Houston able to control to the Apollo spacecraft if needed? [duplicate]

Was every aspect of a flight, aside from liftoff, solely the responsibility of the crew? Or was Houston able to command parts of the spacecraft and its computers remotely in an emergency or if ...
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### How did the upper stage of the Juno 1 rocket change its orientation while it was spinning?

The upper stage of the Juno 1 rocket was spun up to a high speed prior to launch so it would be spin stabilized and not require a guidance system. After the upper stage separated from the 1st stage it ...
644 views

### Saturn launch precautions for clearing tower?

In watching some Saturn rocket launches from the perspective of the camera being on the launch tower, it seems as if there was relatively little distance between the launching rocket and the tower. I ...
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### Saturn V ascent guidance (simulation)

A while ago, I did a Saturn V ascent simulation in Matlab. The catering for drag, gravity and thrust vectors and mass depletion worked well, but I struggled to implement ascent guidance. I duplicated ...
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### How are the SpaceX Falcon 9 Mod 3 and Mod 4 grid fins different?

Elon Musk tweeted "Flying with larger & significantly upgraded hypersonic grid fins. Single piece cast & cut titanium. Can take reentry heat with no shielding." These have been commonly known ...
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### Apollo re-entry guidance

I am referencing chapter 7 of the book "Spacecraft Navigation and Guidance" by Maxwell Noton. Can anyone tell me how to determine control gains C1 and C2 in equation 7.58 and 7.59 in respective ...
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### Best practices for rocket ascent trajectory guidance

I thought I would ask what the most used methods in industry are, in order to guide a launch vehicle into a desired circular orbit at engine cutoff. It seems that the use of direction collocation ...
218 views

### Lunar Descent and Landing Simulation

I am trying to simulate lunar descent and landing as a part of my undergraduate project. For time being, I have included gravity turn guidance scheme and used these equations Now, I can solve ...
298 views

### Apollo guidance

I am studying the Apollo Guidance, specifically the derivation of guidance equation. While laying the baseline, a Target-referenced time (T) is chosen as time variable for guidance calculation of the ...
420 views

### How can a deep-space spacecraft determine in real time the direction of delta-v?

My spacecraft knows it wants to add a certain delta-v in a certain direction to its motion, relative to the stars. It will calculate current mass based on propellant usage history, which hasn't been ...
339 views

### How does Schiaparelli's guidance system work?

I was not able to find any technical documentation on the closed loop guidance system that was supposed to accomplish the powered descent of ESA's Schiaparelli Entry Demonstrator Module. Several ...
731 views

### Generally, what types of sensors are used in rocket guidance systems?

I was wondering how a rocket adjusts its position to ensure it takes the desired path. What sensors, or generally technology, are used to gain data on the rocket's position, where it is heading and ...
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### Rocket drag and lift based on flight direction - in which frame of reference?

Drag is aerodynamic force component parallel to the direction of motion. Lift is aerodynamic force component perpendicular to the direction of motion. Direction of motion with respect to what? 1) ...
Given certain simplifying assumptions, a "linear tangent" steering law is optimal for orbital insertion of a launch vehicle: $$\tan \psi = a\cdot t + b$$ i.e. the tangent of the flight path angle ...