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fly-by-wire


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A description of a spacecraft's control system that uses electronic assistance to regulate its flight. The space shuttle's semi-automatic control-stick steering is a fly-by-wire option. When the astronaut moves the hand controller, it sends electrical impulses to move the elevons and rudder, unlike the older mechanical method, which consisted of a direct link from hand to aircraft flaps.

Astronauts aboard Mercury spacecraft also used the fly-by-wire system to reverse their capsule if they wanted to avoid orbiting backwards.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.


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