scan platform

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A spacecraft appendage to which an imaging instrument is attached. It can be commanded to point in different directions, independent of the spacecraft's attitude, as on the Voyager and Galileo probes. Scan platforms are not included on most spacecraft today, having been gradually phased out because of their large mass and the chance of mechanical problems. Instead, spacecraft rotate to point imagers mounted directly on the spacecraft.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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