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The problem of attitude stabilization for a spacecraft system which is nonlinear in dynamics with inertia uncertainty and external disturbance is investigated in this paper. An adaptive law is applied to estimate the disturbances, where a sliding mode controller is designed to force the state variables of the closed-loop system to converge to the origin. Then, the spacecraft system subjected to control constraints is further considered, and another adaptive sliding mode control law is designed to achieve the attitude stabilization. No prior knowledge of inertia moment is required for both of the proposed adaptive control laws, which implies that the designed control schemes can be applied in spacecraft systems with a large parametric uncertainty existing in inertial matrix or even in unknown inertial matrix. Also, simulation results are presented to illustrate the effectiveness of the control strategies.