Why Spinning Was A Good Trick For America's First Space Launch

Vitenskap og teknologi

The first satellite launched into orbit by the US was Explorer 1 in 1958, this was launched using a rocket design developed by the US Army using mostly off the shelf rocket hardware. One of the most distinctive features of the rocket was the visibly spinning nose which contained the top 3 stages of the rocket. This design enabled the rapid development of the design and meant that in theory it could have launched a satellite into space before Sputnik were it not for the political problems associated with the Army team being lead by a former Nazi.
Spin stabilized rockets are actually a pretty common trick in space launches since it means you can forego thrust vectoring and other complicated guidance and control systems if you're happy to live with a satellite that can handle the spin.


  • Unidentified Biomass
    Unidentified Biomass4 dager siden

    Spin to win

  • hedgehog3180
    hedgehog31806 dager siden

    The antennas flexing and heating up is definitely the most amazing example of the conservation of energy and energy conversion that I have ever heard. You would have never thought that something could have slowed down due to radiating away heat but of course it does.

  • 765kvline
    765kvline16 dager siden

    Scott: Here's a question for you: Why were Atlas, Titan II, Jupiter and Thor used for evolutionary space vehicles after their conversion from military missiles to space boosters and Titan I was . . . not? Titan IIs were reconfigured for Titan IIIC and Titan IIIE and others. Yet the large numbers of Titan I missiles were scrapped. Was there no use for this particular vehicle dynamic?

  • Shawn P
    Shawn P21 dag siden

    Delta Dawn What's that point mass you have on? Could it be a yo-yo brake so spin goes bye? And did I hear you say They were launching you here today To take you on your mission to the sky?

  • Shawn P
    Shawn P21 dag siden

    I love the way he shows the spec sheets, like: "Can I sell you this one? Or for a lady of YOUR caliber, there's THIS model. We can get it in pink if you'd like..."!

  • Frank Gulla
    Frank Gulla24 dager siden

    Thank you for the insight, once again. It is why I follow this channel.

  • Secret Agent
    Secret Agent24 dager siden

    just going out on a limb here Scott... you are damned smart

  • Ryan N
    Ryan N24 dager siden

    Still blows me away that they figured all of this out before we even had color TV

  • DoctyrEvil
    DoctyrEvil25 dager siden

    It's made of Sepratrons -_-

  • Ray Gun
    Ray Gun25 dager siden

    Imagine an extraterrestrial passing by the neighborhood getting hit in the head by a flying space yo-yo

  • Mrsournotes
    Mrsournotes25 dager siden

    Very interesting video Scott. I wasn’t aware of the spinning.

  • Dominic C
    Dominic C26 dager siden


  • RamadaArtist
    RamadaArtist26 dager siden

    4:09 ALTITUDE, kilometers DISTANCE, nautical miles ....just, why America? Why?

  • Toonup01
    Toonup0126 dager siden

    Anakin, spinning is not flying But it's a good trick

  • Marvin Bowen
    Marvin Bowen26 dager siden

    I stopped in for what seemed like a very straight forward discussion. I left feeling like I don't know things about the universe. Thanks for the education, Scott!

  • Alan Ferkinhoff
    Alan Ferkinhoff27 dager siden

    The reason why Eisenhower wanted the Russians to go first is that he wanted them to overfly other countries so that they couldn't complain about the US doing the same.

  • Christian Weagle
    Christian Weagle27 dager siden

    What is the machine shop fabrication video (welding & lathe work) shown around 2m20s to 2m30s?

  • Chris Musix
    Chris Musix28 dager siden

    'Exploder 1'

  • Alexander Sannikov
    Alexander Sannikov28 dager siden

    I love it how effortlessly Scott sidetracks on a tangent topic like that yo-yo thing, which turns out to be very relevant and memorable.

  • Escape Velocity
    Escape Velocity29 dager siden

    The Juno Rocket was called "Jupiter C" in 1958.

  • EnEm Gee
    EnEm Gee29 dager siden

    Think of this as spinning the rocket while the nose is not. It will provide amazing balance and accurate guidance.

  • teoparis20
    teoparis2029 dager siden

    love the tee-shirt ;)

  • Bill Matthews
    Bill Matthews29 dager siden

    It also allowed the rocket to perform anti gravitational properties. See the telemetry for the launch.

  • David Newey
    David NeweyMåned siden

    I understood that reference

  • Dieter MacPherson
    Dieter MacPhersonMåned siden

    Bagel Lox... Oof well done

  • Durahl
    DurahlMåned siden

    In a millennium or so an Alien Spaceship will land on earth with a ding on its hull and an angry alien going around asking people who the fuck hurled a _Yo-Yo_ towards their friggin' car and who to claim their insurance from 😑

  • Patrick Kamm
    Patrick KammMåned siden

    You had the once chance to say “I’m Scott Manley, fly straight”

  • Stuart Brown
    Stuart BrownMåned siden

    Thank you Scott That was really good Kind regards Stuart in Ireland

  • BuildingCenter
    BuildingCenterMåned siden

    “Yo-yo de-spin,” or “ice dancer breakdown.” Separately, the fuel-spinning hack originated after a physicist wrecked shop at the local pool hall with some backspin-based hustlin’. Yeah, it cost a round of drinks and some pocket cash, but the space program got better. There’s that.

  • dkostrisch
    dkostrischMåned siden

    It's a little off-topic, but... why does Starship have that vacuum flame-sucking skirt around its motors?

  • Brian Jones
    Brian JonesMåned siden

    I learnt something today "yoyo despin" I like :)

  • Comet 106
    Comet 106Måned siden

    Could you do another video on Planet 9? is it still a convincing argument? is it the 5th ice giant in the 5 planet Nice Model?

  • Andrew Laco
    Andrew LacoMåned siden

    The real Lost in Space is just junk.

  • Mr. Loop
    Mr. LoopMåned siden

    Can you do a video on all the models of the atlas v

  • Kim Österberg
    Kim ÖsterbergMåned siden

    Slightly off topic: I had a dream last night. In the dream, Canada had built it's own space shuttle but it failed to launch. The vehicle looked batman inspired, but with the canadian flag on it. So I laughed so much I woke up with this ringing in my head Can-na-na-na nanana NADA! Now I just feel awful about it but right there and then it was funny. Feel free to correct the nanananan-part

  • stingray427man
    stingray427manMåned siden

    Just like rifling in a gun barrel.

  • Eric Clarke
    Eric ClarkeMåned siden

    Spinning is not easy as the mass must be manufactured wit even weight distribution. Someday you might talk about the analog computers used in the day.

  • Jason Messinger
    Jason MessingerMåned siden

    interesting hacks before the age of computers.

  • John Doepker
    John DoepkerMåned siden

    So..... simply put... rifling...like a bullet... but way, WAY BIGGER !?!

  • Jose Moreno
    Jose MorenoMåned siden

    Now I know, Thank you Sir.

  • Mr Mullett
    Mr MullettMåned siden

    Wonderful explanation Scott .. top marks !!

  • meesalikeu
    meesalikeuMåned siden


  • Stephen Griffin
    Stephen GriffinMåned siden

    Scott, what “brand” model is the Saturn V and Launch Gantry Tower in the background??

  • Quantumgum
    QuantumgumMåned siden

    T H E _R E D S T O N E

  • Matt H
    Matt HMåned siden

    When ever I hear "hello, its Scott Manley" I know I'm about to get smarter

  • lipo 842
    lipo 842Måned siden

    I believe that the axis switching of T-shaped object is called the Dzhanibekov effect, named after one soviet cosmonaut who somehow witnessed this phenomena.

  • Tom Storey
    Tom StoreyMåned siden

    I'm Scott Manley, fly straight.

  • Stan Grabowski
    Stan GrabowskiMåned siden

    LOX and Bagels. Yes. Just yes.

  • X-JAKA7
    X-JAKA7Måned siden

    The OG NASA fidget spinner

  • gal adato
    gal adatoMåned siden

    I see what you did there

  • Waco Jones
    Waco JonesMåned siden

    My dad when he was an apprentice tool and die maker at the Illinois Institute of Technology machined parts for the Explorer 1. He was very happy the launch was successful.

  • cpnscarlet
    cpnscarletMåned siden

    Bagel and LOX? That's an old joke.

  • Matt Dill
    Matt DillMåned siden

    Is it wrong that I’m sad we didn’t get to see any Scott Manley KSP examples of these functions he was talking about? Still a great video thanks as always Sir.

  • B Laws
    B LawsMåned siden

    I may have missed it but what about counter-rotational torque?

  • Richard Rejmer
    Richard RejmerMåned siden

    The use of spin is still very common. . Listen to any goverment spokesperson from any country and you will hear spin

  • KSparx
    KSparxMåned siden

    Somewhere, sometime, there's gonna be a pissed alien with a cracked windshield. And it's a good thing they didn't try to de-spin using one of those old knicker-knacker toys. Those things were deadly!

  • Sir Mortimer
    Sir MortimerMåned siden

    If you want to simulate the rotation flip in KSP, get Principia - they do that, too :)

  • Buzz Man
    Buzz ManMåned siden

    Exploder 1

  • Alan Harper
    Alan HarperMåned siden

    That may explain the reason, the first known interstellar object, Oumuamua has the unusual spinning action...

  • MrVipitis
    MrVipitisMåned siden

    Yoyo despin

  • kraigson
    kraigsonMåned siden

    The reason Sputnik was allowed (yes, allowed) to be launched first was to ensure that because the Russians couldn't complain about the overflights of their territories because when their satellites overflew the US, we didn't complain. It was a very clever move on the Eisenhower administration.

  • TheMagicJIZZ
    TheMagicJIZZMåned siden

    Why did they use these fuels for liquid rocket and not kerosene or gasoline or hydrogen/methane

  • Furious Lemmings
    Furious LemmingsMåned siden

    Can you please review the new lego space shuttle

  • F31 ///M Sport
    F31 ///M SportMåned siden

    Nice Phantom Menace reference in title!

  • Cern Green
    Cern GreenMåned siden

    If you drink alcohol rocket fuel, is it your space craft that is spinning... or is it you that is spinning?

  • Jerome Thiel
    Jerome ThielMåned siden

    That end over end flipping was first discovered by a Russian cosmonaut when he spun off a wingnut in his capsule, and noted that it kept flipping over. This was filmed, because at the time, nobody knew why. We know now, of course, but without space travel would we today? Maybe, but also, maybe not. Also, your video brings up another point. If we ever do have a battle in space, and it involves any kind of projectile, who knows where that projectile will end up. If you fire it and miss, who knows where it will end up. Reminds me of a short story about a US and Russian moon bases, and they keep skirmishing with each other. And both bases keep asking for more and more computers to be sent up. So the US fly's a general up to find out what's what. And the answer is (you guessed it), all the rifle rounds fired at the enemy went into low moon orbit, and they had to keep calculating all of the orbits of these projectiles, so that they didn't end up shot by their own spent ammo. Kind of brought home the silliness of fighting in space.

  • Jerome Thiel

    Jerome Thiel

    28 dager siden

    @Mark Martin It was a story, and the people were shooting at each other parallel to the ground. So yeah, the moons gravity would have rendered those shots that missed irrelevant pretty quickly. But it was a fun story. The whole point was that war is stupid, and we needed to stop doing it. But human nature being what it is, i have no hope for it stopping any time soon.

  • kworkshop
    kworkshopMåned siden

    With your awesome Scottish accent, I always hear “Exploder” as opposed to “Explorer”. Important difference haha.

  • Biscuit Plays
    Biscuit PlaysMåned siden

    Scott, love your channel and your insight, this is certainly not meant as a negative...would u share your background or CV I am just curious of your background,

  • Amateur Rocketeer
    Amateur RocketeerMåned siden

    Nice, aperantly this was “2 hours ago” according to my notification, the vid is a day old

  • Itz_ Ultima
    Itz_ UltimaMåned siden

    Currently reading Ignition!, and I can't stop reading it in your voice

  • Kevin Reardon
    Kevin ReardonMåned siden

    Wow. Now that's the kinda spin I like to see.

  • Malakhi Manaleigh
    Malakhi ManaleighMåned siden

    My names Kye Manley

  • Torey Weaver
    Torey WeaverMåned siden

    Incredible lesson, sir! I had no idea about yo yo despin!! Ingenious

  • zapfanzapfan
    zapfanzapfanMåned siden

    You spin me right round baby right round... :-)

  • Gertrude Filthbasket
    Gertrude FilthbasketMåned siden

    Great video

  • Zach Cortese
    Zach CorteseMåned siden

    Great video as always Scott!

  • StealZone
    StealZoneMåned siden

    Why. Does. A. Smart. Fellow. Like. You. Title. Your. Videos. Like. A. Fifth. Grader. From. A. Third. World. Country. With. A. Stutter? Or is that just who you hire to write the titles?

  • Y. Shaked
    Y. ShakedMåned siden

    Bagel with LOx.

  • Michael Lubin
    Michael LubinMåned siden

    Does that mean, if I could get my nose to rotate rapidly enough, I could be a spaceship?

  • Marcus Robertsson
    Marcus RobertssonMåned siden

    How are we gonna fly safe while spinning at 750 rpm and increasing? Sounds quite dangerous to be honest. o_O

  • Daniel Culver
    Daniel CulverMåned siden

    1:06 "I'm Scott Manley; fly straight"

  • My videos & etc.
    My videos & etc.Måned siden

    6:22 In my paratrooper training that was a technque to slow down rotation due to string winding but using legs and arms.

  • FastIndy
    FastIndyMåned siden

    Prequel memes, huh? Okay.

  • TheAbc45678
    TheAbc45678Måned siden

    @4:14 and @10:11 your statement sounded like "Exploder One would get into orbit." Exploder is a bad name for a rocket.

  • TheAbc45678
    TheAbc45678Måned siden

    Did you get that T-shirt by being an employee of Apple? Is Apple building an iRocket?

  • Christian
    ChristianMåned siden

    I thought the most lost object was the steel plate that blown out of the borehole during Operation Plumbbob?

  • jpdemer5
    jpdemer5Måned siden

    Simple physics - and all the resulting weird phenomena that still surprise us. I'm wondering why the antennae continued to flex for so long, instead of the internal friction (which dissipated energy) eventually causing them to settle down into a fixed orientation.

  • Curium 96
    Curium 96Måned siden

    imagine you are an alien being hit by a despin weight at interstellar velocity

  • Andrew Tinker
    Andrew TinkerMåned siden

    Something about the way you say 'explorer' makes me hear it as 'exploder', and that's a great name for a rocket.

  • Aleksey Grawe
    Aleksey GraweMåned siden

    yo-yo despin works not only by increasing inertia tensor but also because wire is wound up around the stage, so when it gets unwound centrifugal force from weights is actually applied to the side of the stage (not center of mass). and it literally pulls the stage in the direction opposite to rotation. with only inertia tensor increase your can slow rotation (maybe by 3) but never stop it or go in reverse.

  • Harry Baker
    Harry BakerMåned siden

    So explorer one is a massive reaction wheel like the ones from ksp?

  • Elsa D.
    Elsa D.Måned siden

    Happy birthday to you? :)

  • Bart
    BartMåned siden

    I keep hearing you say "Exploder 1"

  • Kerbal Simulations
    Kerbal SimulationsMåned siden

    Because as Anakin Skywalker always said “I’ll try spinning that’s a good trick!”

  • Jonathan Bout
    Jonathan BoutMåned siden

    i was thinking all the time that you was saying Exploder 1

  • Rollertoaster 81
    Rollertoaster 81Måned siden

    1:34 😄 "LOX + BAGEL" power!

  • JuffoWup78
    JuffoWup78Måned siden

    I'm surprised I can't find it because I've seen videos showing it when talking of the space shuttle. But the shuttle launched spin satellites as well. However, I can't find a single launch of it. At least not easily. Google keeps mudding up the results thinking I mean spacex instead of space shuttle. Or it wants to show me a shuttle launch and not the satellite deploy. Edit: Or I'm terrible at searching. There was one with full video, but here is an example anyway. Same launch system from what I remember. And may even be the same launch, just recorded and stored later as they had gone out of range of live broadcast. noprojects.info/camera/video/tN1oZdSKiZ6Epns

  • Horth SMS
    Horth SMSMåned siden

    Scott, if the moon was created by an impact into the earth, what would the gravity be like had all that mass formed one bigger Earth and no moon? Would there be space flight at all?

  • Katy Jones
    Katy JonesMåned siden

    So basicallly a ruddy big rifle bullet?


    ah drinks rocket fuel