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