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    Re: Cel nav in space
    From: Bill B
    Date: 2005 Jan 4, 14:37 -0500

    > Forty five minutes after the umbilical cord was disconnected, the IUS
    > would "wake up".  It would then start searching the sky looking for a
    > star of a specified color and intensity.  When it found a star with the
    > right color and intensity, it would place that star in the center of the
    > visible star field and then rotate around until it found a second star
    > of specified color and intensity.  With two, it would then look for a
    > third.  This would enable the onboard systems to determine its orbital
    > position and orientation.
    
    Fascinating.  I was once told that Soviet ICBMs used a form of cel nav for
    targeting, as they could not trust a potential enemy's GPS system ;-)  I
    quipped, "Big deal. So SA is on and you miss by 100 meters.  What does that
    matter with multiple warheads?
    
    I was surprised to learn that the destination was locked in while the
    missile was high above the Earth, so a few seconds of an arc off could make
    a potentially significant difference on final destination.
    
    Bill
    
    
    

       
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