A flywheel is a rotating mechanical device that is used to store rotational energy. Flywheels have a significant moment of inertia, and thus resist changes in rotational speed. The amount of energy stored in a flywheel is proportional to the square of its rotational speed...
used primarily by spacecraft
A spacecraft or spaceship is a craft or machine designed for spaceflight. Spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, earth observation, meteorology, navigation, planetary exploration and transportation of humans and cargo....
for attitude control without using fuel for rocket
A rocket is a missile, spacecraft, aircraft or other vehicle which obtains thrust from a rocket engine. In all rockets, the exhaust is formed entirely from propellants carried within the rocket before use. Rocket engines work by action and reaction...
s or other reaction devices.
Reaction wheels are devices which aim a spacecraft in different directions without firing rockets or jets. They are particularly useful when the spacecraft must be rotated by very small amounts, such as keeping a telescope pointed at a star. They may also reduce the mass fraction
In aerospace engineering, payload fraction is a common term used to characterize the efficiency of a particular design. Payload fraction is calculated by dividing the weight of the payload by the weight of the otherwise empty aircraft when fully fueled...
needed for fuel.