An axial electrostatic ion thruster for use on a dual-spin stabilized spacecraft is disclosed. The thruster is mounted on the spun portion of the spacecraft and continuously fired for an integral number of spin periods to provide north-south velocity and attitude control. To achieve zero attitude precession with a statically imbalanced despun platform, or an intentional attitude precession generally, the ion thrust is spin-synchronously varied between two non-zero levels to achieve a prescribed Fourier component amplitude and phase at the spin frequency. Modulation of the thrust is achieved with constant ion beam current by complementary modulation of the beam voltage, V.sub.B, and accel voltage, V.sub.A by varying the ion extraction system grid voltages. This varies the thrust while maintaining a constant total accelerating voltage V.sub.TOT =V.sub.B +.vertline.V.sub.A .vertline..