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A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

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    Re: Celestial Navigation on the surface of Mars
    From: Paul Dolkas
    Date: 2018 Nov 11, 00:35 +0000

    Yes, you would need an artificial horizon, but a little bit of electronics would go a long way here. There are solid state inclinometers that would do a great job of telling you where vertical is, and would be unaffected by vacuum or cold. So all you would do is aim at the sun/star/Phobos/Demos and push a button.

     

    I’m of the opinion that a better “sextant” would actually be more of a theodolite. This would be something you would probably want to have on hand anyway for geological surveying (measuring distant rock formations, craters, etc.) A single purpose navigation instrument like a sextant would probably be considered  a bit of an extravagancy.  

     

    Paul Dolkas

     

    From: NavList@fer3.com [mailto:NavList@fer3.com] On Behalf Of Morfydd James
    Sent: Saturday, November 10, 2018 3:46 PM
    To: Paul Dolkas
    Subject: [NavList] Re: Celestial Navigation on the surface of Mars

     

    The actual horizon on Mars would be unreliable so one would have to use an artificial horizon. But... how could you have liquids in a partial vacuum and sub-freezing temperatures? A tiny heater built into the sextant? I thought I heard about some type of aeronautical sextant that used a column with paper at the bottom. Pressing a trigger dropped an inked ball bearing down the collumn to strike a mark on the paper. Does that sound familiar?

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