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NASA Space Mechanisms Handbook and Reference Guide

What is the NASA Space Mechanisms Handbook and Reference Guide?

The NASA Space Mechanisms Handbook and Reference Guide DVD image is a fully searchable file that includes:

Handbook Subject Matter

Subjects covered in the Space Mechanisms Handbook:

  1. Mechanism Design Development Process
  2. Space Mechanisms Requirements
  3. Mechanism Design Considerations
  4. Deployable Mechanisms
  5. Cyclic and Continuously Rotating Mechanisms
  6. Case Studies
  7. Springs
  8. Dampers
  9. Lubricants
  10. Bearings
  11. Non-Pyrotechnically-Actuated Devices
  12. Explosive Ordnance Applications for Spacecraft Mechanisms
  13. Fasteners
  14. Spacecraft Flight Instrumentation
  15. Spacecraft Valves
  16. Electric Motors for Space Applications
  17. Electrical Contact Ring Assemblies for Spacecraft
  18. Gearing for Actuators and Drives
  19. Materials for Moving Mechanical Assemblies
  20. Testing
  21. Seals

An update of the Reference Guide was issued on DVD in October, 2009, that included many additional reports. The DVD included the proceedings of the first 39 Aerospace Mechanisms Symposia (1966 to 2008). The 1999 Space Mechanisms Handbook was not updated.

Handbook Availability

The Handbook is restricted under ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations). It is available only to US citizens who have a need for the material. To receive a digital copy, you will have to sign and return a form that verifies:

1.     You are a US citizen.

2.     You work for a company incorporated in the United States;

3.     You will not transfer any part of it to a foreign national or foreign company;

4.     You have a legitimate need for the Space Mechanisms Handbook.

Link for form: Adobe pdf file

Return signed form via email (with scanned signature) to

We cannot provide any part of the Handbook to a citizen of any foreign country without an export license from the United States State Department.

If you are a student, please have your professor request the Handbook. If you do not work for a recognizable space enterprise, please give a reference that we can verify. We must verify that each request is legitimate. If we cannot verify, we will not send the Handbook link.

The Handbook is not a general engineering reference. It is intended only for people working in the space mechanisms field. We cannot accommodate requests from people outside this field.

The Recipient of the Space Mechanism Handbook, as noted on the Request Form, shall not reproduce or distribute the Space Mechanism Handbook to any third party without the express written approval of the NASA Glenn Research Center.

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