I have recently had the opportunity to work with some clients who are developing space mechanisms. This is a very specialized field with 60 years of tribal knowledge. When working at NASA I was exposed to the Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium which is the semi-annual gathering for all things space mechanism. It is the best place that tribal knowledge is shared. RCI is now sharing the previous 43 volumes with you! You can download the zip file containing all 43 volumes and the contents of the original 2 CD set The NASA Space Mechanism Handbook and Reference Guide*.
If you are involved in aerospace mechanism design, analysis, or oversight, this data set is the best single source of information in the field. Repeating any of the previously documented failures in mechanism design is inexcusable and extremely expensive. Yes, it won’t be an easy task to review the tens of thousands of pages of literature, but they are in searchable pdf format and come with an index.
One of the early articles that I recommend is a 3 page article by an Air Force Major named James C. McSheery. It’s titled, The Design of Aerospace Mechanisms – A Customer’s Opinion. It’s such a humorous and short piece I use it as one of my first reading/writing assignments in my engineering training program. Read it here.
Another article I recommend that came out of the last symposium in 2016 was this article on how Ti bolts are less tough than their equivalent steel fasteners. This is despite the material properties being almost identical. Shocking.
*These files do NOT contain the NASA Handbook due to its ITAR restriction, but you can request a copy here if you are a US Citizen and in the field.
The latest volume is here (2018): AMS44