Gyroscopes in space


Gyroscopes form an important in keeping the International Space Station and satellites pointing the right way as they orbit our planet.

ESA astronaut Tim Peake shows how gyroscopes can be used to keep spacecraft stable during his six-month Principia mission.

There is no up or down in space. Satellites track their pointing direction using the same approach as on submarines and aircraft: fast-spinning gyroscopes that maintain a fixed orientation in the same way as a child’s spinning top. The International Space Station has four big gyroscopes which are used for stabilization of the Station.

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