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Author Topic: How does a gyroscope function in space and why is it neccssary there?  (Read 7664 times)

Offline Alan McDougall

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Hi,
With two failures of the space station four gyroscopes brings me to these questions.

Gyroscopes are used in satellites mainly for keeping them pointed precisely in one direction as they orbit around the earth

Precisely in what direction is my first question..............?

The spin direction axis of the gyroscope maintains a fixed direction, independent of the motion of the space station or satellite.

So on the space station the gyroscope is spinning relative or synchronized to what frame of reference?

I understand what the gyroscope does up to this point.

But what would happen if all the gyroscopes fail in the space station, would the station wobble uncontrollaby............?

Regards

Alan

 



 

Offline syhprum

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The gyroscope maintains its orientation relative to 'the fixed stars' according to the conjecture of Ernst Mach.
Gyrosopes come in all shapes and size,s some are instruments that define direction while others are massive flywheels that hold structure in alignment by brute force, the ISS has both types
« Last Edit: 07/09/2008 21:39:31 by syhprum »
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Who is ENST MACH that his conjecture is so important?

Alan
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Look him up he is the Mach of mach numbers for the speed of aircraft and also had a lot of interesting philosophical ideas.  notably related to inertia if you want to measure the acceleration of some massive object under the effect of a force you neet to have a stable frame of reference to distant object notably the stars so mach considered that inerta was someting to do with the relationship between an object and the rest of the universe.  this was long before higgs bosons came around.
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Soul Surfer,

Thanks, I read up on Mach But as we know the earth is also just huge gyroscope revolving around the celestial poles. It wobbles like a spinning top with a procession of 26 thousand years.

Now we know a top will eventually fall over. Is the procession wobbling increasing and is it possible that the celestial pole could end up somewhere else, such as what is now the equator.

Regards

Alan
 

Offline syhprum

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We are fortunate on this planet that we have the Moon to to help stabilise our spin axis, Mars is not so lucky and it is thought that is does topple over occasionally
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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syhprum,

Nice concise answer thanks, I forgot about our moon , whom without life could never have started on earth

Alan
 

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