Two robust nonlinear controllers along with a nonlinear observer have been developed in this study to control a 1D nonlinear flexible spacecraft. The first controller is based on dynamic inversion, while the second one is composed of dynamic inversion and µ-synthesis controllers. The extension of dynamic inversion approach to flexible spacecraft is impeded by the non-minimum phase characteristics when the panel tip position is taken as the output of the system. To overcome this problem, the controllers are designed by utilizing the modified output re-definition approach. It is assumed that only one torque on the hub is used. In particular, the assumption that all sate variables are measurable is not realistic; hence sliding mode observers is used to estimate states. Actuator saturation is considered in the design of controllers. The performances of the proposed controllers are compared in terms of nominal performance, robustness to uncertainties, vibration suppression of panel, sensitivity to measurement noise, environment disturbance and nonlinearity in large maneuvers. To evaluate the performance of the proposed controllers, an extensive number of simulations on a nonlinear model of the spacecraft are performed. Simulation results show the ability of the proposed controller in tracking the attitude trajectory and damping panel vibration. It is also verified that the perturbations, environment disturbance and measurement errors have only slight effects on the tracking and damping responses.