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Spin-stabilisation is the method of stabilizing a satellite or launch vehicle by means of spin. For most satellite applications this approach has been superseded by three-axis stabilisation. It is also used in non-satellite applications such as rifle and artillery.

Despinning can be achieved by various techniques, including Yo-yo de-spin.


On rockets with a solid motor upper stage, spin stabilization is used to keep the motor from drifting off course as they don't have their own thrusters. Usually small rockets are used to spin up the spacecraft and rocket then fire the rocket and send the craft off.

Rockets that use spin stabilization

  • Space Shuttle on early flights (limited use, now retired)
  • Delta II on some flights
  • Minotaur 5

See also[edit]