A roll program or tilt maneuver is an aerodynamic maneuver that alters the attitude of a vertically launched space launch vehicle. The maneuver is used to place the spacecraft on a proper heading toward its intended orbit.
A roll program is completed shortly after the vehicle clears the tower. In the case of a crewed mission, a crew member (usually the commander) reports the roll to mission control which is then acknowledged by the capsule communicator.
Space Shuttle launch
The roll program occurs during a shuttle launch for the following reasons:
- To place the shuttle in a heads down position
- Increasing the mass that can be carried into orbit
- Increasing the orbital altitude
- Simplifying the trajectory of a possible Return to Launch site abort maneuver
- Improving radio line-of-sight propagation
- Orienting the shuttle more parallel toward the ground with the nose to the east
Titan II and Saturn V launch
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