Ulysses Graphic Navigation Graphic
Home Mission Science Spacecraft News Images Kids Education
Page Title
Nutation Control Game
ESA logo Nutation Control Game

If you are using a browser that supports Java Applets... This will automatically launch a POP-UP window containing the Nutation Control Game.

Click inside the pop-up window window to fire the thruster. You have to do it at the right time to control the nutation, and also to try and compensate for the Earth drift.

Have you killed the game window but you want to RESTART ?
(To restart on a Macintosh click the refresh button on your browser).


If you are sure you are using a browser that supports Java Applets but the game does not start... Rest assured that the game has only a few small files (20k total) and downloads quickly, but some browsers seem to take a long time (2 min. or more) to start a new Java environment. If you think that you are experiencing this problem you may want to go and read the Pre-Game Instructions , or the Tips & Tricks (or somewere else) while the browser sorts out the environment. Normally this site will remain active in your browser, and the game window will pop up while you are buying some time, otherwise just come back here in a couple of minutes.

NOTE: Understand that in real life, and under normal circumstances, the "passive nutation dampers" (some clever friction devices) will take care of the nutation, that will go down to zero without "mission control" intervention. The "Nutation Anomaly" only occurs in certain phases of the Ulysses Mission, when the Sun's thermal energy is strong enough to make the flexible booms oscillate (a phenomenon discovered in-flight). The nutation feeds on this oscillation, and the Sun "pumps" into the system more energy than the nutation dampers can handle. It is then that we need to execute the real Nutation Control Manoeuvres, which are based on the same principle in the game (although they are slightly more complex).

Nutation Game copyright European Space Agency 1996
(Developed by Raul Garcia-Perez for the European Space Agency office at JPL).
Send Comments to Bruce E. Goldstein.

This page was last updated August 19, 2009
USA.gov PRIVACY | FAQ | FEEDBACK Site Manager: Andrea Angrum
Webmasters: Daniel Sedlacko