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Encyclopedia > Orbit attitude and maneuvering system

The Orbit Attitude and Maneuvering System or OAMS was a propulsion system used in orbit by the Gemini spacecraft.

From the publication On Shoulders of Titans: A History of Project Gemini (http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/SP-4203/cover.htm) (Hacker, Barton C., and James M. Grimwood. NASA SP-4203, 1977, reprinted 2002):

Besides letting a pilot steer the spacecraft, the OAMS also held the ship steady in orbit and, at the start of the mission, provided the power to push the spacecraft away from the spent second stage of the launch vehicle and to insert the craft into orbit - or, in case of trouble, to abort the mission. The complete OAMS had 16 small engines, which burned hypergolic propellants fed under pressure from one fuel (monomethylhydrazine) and one oxidizer (nitrogen tetroxide) tank. All engines were mounted in fixed positions and were run at fixed levels of thrust. Eight of the OAMS engines were rated at 111 newtons (25 pounds of thrust) and fired in pairs, allowing the pilot to pitch, roll, and yaw the spacecraft and so control its attitude. The other eight engines were rated at 444 newtons (100 pounds of thrust); two were oriented to fire forward, two backward, and two to each side. This was the maneuvering part of the system. In July 1962, the rated thrust of the two forward-firing engines was reduced to 378 newtons (85 pounds).
This article contains material and/or images that originally came from a NASA website. All NASA information is in the public domain, with the exception of the usage-restricted NASA logo. For more information, please review NASA's use guidelines (http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/policies.html#Guidelines).

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