The Propulsion Subsystem

As we recall from Chapter 7, the propulsion subsystem's main functions are to provide a capability to transfer the spacecraft between orbits, and to control the mission orbit (see Chapter 3) and the spacecraft attitude (see Chapter 8), using on-board rocket systems. Although this statement seems elaborate, it is reasonable to say that the propulsion subsystem's job is fairly intuitive; that is, the spacecraft has rocket engines on board that are fired to move the vehicle as appropriate to ensure it reaches its intended destination in near-Earth or interplanetary space. There are effectively two aspects to the propulsion subsystem's job: orbit transfer, and orbit and attitude control.

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