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Questions tagged [rcs]

Reaction Control Systems, small thrusters to control attitude and occasionally translation of a spacecraft.

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25
votes
2answers
2k views

Why aren't RCS openings an issue for spacecraft heat shields?

A spacecraft which needs to both maneuver and enter the atmosphere needs both a reaction control system and a thermal protection system (aka heat shield). As the heat shield needs to be on the outer ...
6
votes
1answer
128 views

Apollo SM RCS specific impulse?

What is the specific impulse of the RCS thrusters on the Apollo Service Module? This document cites 281 seconds for the LM's RCS thrusters, but I cannot find similar specs for the SM.
4
votes
2answers
99 views

Apollo CSM RCS maximum number of simultaneously active engines?

Reading the RCS subsystem manual, it seems like each RCS quad of the Apollo SM consisted of four hypergolic engines. Am I correct in saying that all four engines of each of the four quads could be ...
6
votes
1answer
71 views

Apollo CSM mass, inertia and RCS parameters?

Is there a document specifying the total mass, the 3-by-3 inertia tensor of the Apollo CSM assembly, as well as the geometry of the service module and command module RCS assemblies (in other words, ...
2
votes
1answer
153 views

What are the limitations of monopropellant RCS thrusters in a re-useable spacecraft?

I understand the disadvantage of monopropellant is mainly dependent on the life of the catalyst. There is a possibility of catalyst failure due to it being subjected to catalytic poison and catalytic ...
2
votes
1answer
47 views

What lateral and rotational accelerations can a spacecraft achieve?

I've found information like the Space Shuttle Orbiter has so many thrusters each generating so much force to maneuver "with redundancy" in orbit. But without knowing something like how many thrusters ...
3
votes
2answers
795 views

Is it possible to use RCS instead of gimbal to control first stage attitude?

Questions like this one emphazise the role of gimbal to control the attitude of the first stage. But once in orbit, satellites usually uses reaction control systems. Is it possible to use RCS to ...
6
votes
2answers
190 views

Why does candidate optimal group computation produce strange results when thrusters are too close together?

I have two thruster configurations I'm testing. One is almost symmetric about its center-of-gravity (it's a little bottom-heavy, but the thrusters themselves are the same fore and aft). The other has ...
13
votes
2answers
6k views

Was the Space Shuttle ever rotated to induce artificial gravity?

The Space Shuttle was a fairly compact transportation vehicle in terms of the amount of space available for astronauts to move around. Did they ever attempt to roll a Space Shuttle to induce ...
4
votes
1answer
294 views

Could Vostok 1 deorbit on its cold gas thrusters?

Citing the Wikipedia article: The orbit's perigee and apogee had been selected to cause reentry due to orbital decay within 10 days (the limit of the life support system function) in the event of ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the minimum number of RCS thrusters capable of stabilizing a satellite against an arbitrary rotation?

In case of a very specific rotation, even one suffices, but it must be located just right for that specific axis of rotation, and if you want to rotate the satellite, it can do so in that specific ...