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A study was conducted to determine the effects of the distribution of the moments-of-inertia of space vehicles on the ability of crew members to stabilize the attitude of tumbling space vehicles. Five pilot-engineers performed a stabilization task on a fixed-base manned space vehicle simulator which was mechanized to provide three degrees of angular freedom. Five space-vehicle configurations were investigated under two conditions of displayed information content. Results indicated that certain vehicle shapes or configurations are more difficult to control and are more dependent on the amount of displayed information for efficient control. Implications of the findings are presented for future design of manually controlled space vehicles.
Date of Publication: Sept. 1962