Space: Putting Gravity to Work

Keeping an orbiting satellite in the proper attitude is no mean trick. But there are times when antennas and cameras have to be kept pointing continually at the earth if they are to work effectively, and scientists have devised some complex systems to help them maintain position. Gyroscopes, inertial devices, gas jets and small rocket engines, working in conjunction with thousands of electrical and mechanical components, have all been tested. In an effort to reduce the weight and complexity of such systems, General Electric space specialists have taken their inspiration from the moon—a natural satellite that manages to keep...

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