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Re: AO40: status



>But even if it moved outwards, it didn't stay there but just left the
>spinning system without taking away any angular momentum.  Thus, in
>any case, it must spin faster...

Nope again. As the propellant drains outward, it gets accelerated by
the spacecraft body. This slows down the spin rate. As it dribbles off
the end, it continues in a straight line tangential to the point of
departure.

I've heard of spacecraft that despun themselves after launcher
separation by reeling out weights on lines and then cutting them loose
when they're fully deployed.

So if AO-40's spinup was caused by the simple movement of propellant
mass, it must have moved from the fuel tanks closer to the Z axis.
For it to have caused a spinup while moving away from the Z axis, it
must have been ejected from the spacecraft with additional energy from
another source. Possible energy sources include helium pressure, or
the energy released by the reaction of MMH and N2O4.

Phil

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