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Technology Transfer - Satellite Attitude Control

Already a short time after the launch the ROSAT mission was largely jeopardized by the breakdown of two of the altogether four gyroscopes for the attitude control of the satellite. In a salvage operation of the DASA, Ottobrunn, the ground station GSOC, Oberpfaffenhofen, and the Max-Planck-Institut, which was by then unparallel in aerospace, the ROSAT bord computers have been programmed from the ground that the ROSAT magnetometers could be constituted for the control of the satellite attitude instead of the gyroscopes. In the meantime it has been well proved so that the ROSAT successor ABRIXAS as well as 56 communication satellites of the Gobal Star System will do it without gyroscopes.

ROSAT Figure: Since its launch on June 1, 1990 the X-ray satellite (ROentgenSATellit) ROSAT has been orbiting the Earth equipped with one of the largest and most precise X-ray telescope ever built. The most successful X-ray satellite ever being switched off on 12 February 1999 having provided astronomers with a wealth of knowledge on previously unquantified X-ray sources for almost ten years.

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