A generalized “first law” of motion for spinning bodies is formulated, analogous to Newton’s First Law for particle dynamics. By such a concept, the general rotational motion of a body is described as a precession of a reference principal axis about the angular momentum vector, the motion of the latter being in turn related to the applied moment by the well-known “second law” of motion. This new approach allows vectorial visualization of body attitudes in a fixed frame of reference, as opposed to Euler’s description of motion in terms of body angular rates. The two methods are complementary in the solution of space vehicle problems.

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