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ESA logo Introduction to the Nutation Control Game
Players Rosette

Game Point of View.


The Earth and the offpointing limit.


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How to Play the Nutation Control Game:

Click the mouse to fire the thrusters,

Fire the thrusters (small rockets) to decrease the spacecraft nutation, and to compensate for the Earth drift.

Primary Goals:

  • Your prime goal is the Spacecraft safety. The nutation might damage the long flexible booms if the oscillation gets too wild.

  • Maintain the radio link with the Earth. When the spacecraft points outside the blue circle you lose contact, and you cannot command the thrusters to fire.

To save fuel, you have to try and do both at the same time. Ideally, you should fire at the right time to stop the nutation, but only if the direction is also good to move the centre of the rosette towards the Earth. Sometimes this is as difficult as it sounds!   And you may need to expend some extra fuel to keep things under control.

Read Tips and Tricks to learn to fly like an ACE!

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

This page was last updated August 19, 2009
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