Questions tagged [guidance]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
3
votes
2answers
254 views

State of the art of satellite Attitude Determination and Control Systems

I know I might get an answer like "the sky is not the limit"... But considering the actual state of the art of modern satellites ADC systems. Haven't we reached a "maximum" yet? Or are there still a ...
7
votes
1answer
458 views

How does rocket guidance deal with changing mass?

The first stage of the Saturn V, for example, burned about 26 tons of material in total per second (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocketdyne_F-1#Specifications). Therefore the rocket dynamics are ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How are IMU positions decided for rockets and spacecraft?

I imagine that engineers have to decide where an inertial measurement unit (or just an accelerometer, gyro, etc.) is placed in a rocket or spacecraft. I'd like to know how are these positions decided? ...
8
votes
1answer
823 views

What is the maximum acceptable latency in rocket control computers?

Rockets require real-time computers, in that there are operational deadlines between events and system response. How quickly does the rocket's controller need to respond to sensors and events, without ...
21
votes
2answers
8k views

How did NASA remotely fix the code on the Mars Pathfinder?

In 1997, NASA remotely fixed a bug that caused priority inversion on their Mars Pathfinder. How did they go about doing this? What kind of communication protocols are used? How do they update the ...
8
votes
2answers
913 views

Does terminal velocity play a significant role when launching from Earth?

As mentioned in the question Climbing at terminal velocity minimizes losses? But why? And "of what"? terminal velocity is important when launching space craft from Kerbal (Game Kerbal Space ...
23
votes
4answers
4k views

How does the Falcon 9 know where the landing barge/pad is?

The descending Falcon 9 has got to hit (preferably gently) the tiny target of the Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (ASDS) in the middle of the ocean. How does the Falcon 9 know where the ASDS is? ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Were the aerodynamic control surfaces of the Space Shuttle used during ascent?

The Space Shuttle had several aerodynamic control surfaces to control it during reentry and the final phase of atmospheric flight to landing. It seems a waste to haul tons of control surface to orbit ...
20
votes
1answer
3k views

How do single engine rockets control roll?

While it's obvious how a single gimbaling engine can control a rockets attitude, it is less clear how it could control roll. Nonetheless many rockets use just a single main engine with no fins or ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Climbing at terminal velocity minimizes losses? But why? And “of what”?

A lucky discovery of a Kerbal engineer's writing gave this deep insight into the mechanics of climbing to orbit: the best way to minimize d/v losses through the atmosphere is to always go at ...
21
votes
3answers
4k views

Fortran and the Apollo 11 mission

I was just wondering, as a Fortran user. As far as I know, the simulations taken in order to carry the Apollo 11 mission was written in Fortran 2. I would like to confirm this from a reliable source. ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

What were the differences between Space Shuttle's and Buran's reentry guidance?

Assuming unpowered flight, what were the significant differences between the STS orbiter and the Buran in: re-entry trajectory? re-entry guidance? navigation during re-entry (inputs and algorithms - ...

1
2