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    Re: It's Moon-landing Monday
    From: Greg Rudzinski
    Date: 2009 Jul 20, 10:02 -0700

    Frank,
    
    It seems that a 2009 PDA is sufficient to handle trajectories,
    triangulations and three dimensional cross track error with optimal
    thrust applications to rendezvous or orbit. I would use the sextant to
    measure limb to limb on the Earth and Moon to obtain two ranges. A
    third range could be had by measuring angles of prominent Moon crater
    features. Am I on the right track/trajectory? ;-) I would have to
    shave all the hair off my body and pull a few teeth to make weight
    too ;-)
    
    On Jul 20, 4:35�am,  wrote:
    > To celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon, 
    I propose a navigation brain game...
    >
    > You are on your way to the Moon in the year 2029, sixty years after the 
    first moon landing, to begin a six-month stay as part of a team of five at 
    the tiny "International Moon Base". You have been granted a twenty kilogram 
    allowance for personal effects, and navigation-fanatic that you are, you have 
    chosen to bring along a beautiful, well-adjusted, perfectly-aligned, 
    traditional marine sextant manufactured way back in 1999. You also carry a 
    laptop computer in a radiation and EMP-shielded case containing whatever 
    databases of astronomical information suit your fancy (you've got at least a 
    terabyte to spare so have no fear --if you can imagine it, you can load it on 
    that laptop!). Then, just six hours out of Earth orbit on-course for the 
    Moon, in a terrible accident, a solar flare, or an electrical fault, or just 
    plain old gremlins wipe out your spacecraft's electronics leaving you no 
    navigational capabilities, no automated spacecraft control, no communications 
    with the Earth or GPS-like satellites or any astronauts in Earth orbit, lunar 
    orbit, or already on the Moon. Life-support is functioning for a few days, 
    and you can still fire your rockets and thrusters manually, but everything 
    else is dead. So what could you do? You dig out your sextant from your 
    luggage... You fire up your laptop with its detailed databases of 
    astronomical data... Can you get to the Moon? If not to the Moon's surface, 
    can you get yourself to within, let's say, 100 nautical miles of some spot in 
    lunar orbit? In short, could you become "Buck Bowditch in the 25th Century" 
    and use traditional celestial navigation tools and skills, plus a laptop full 
    of data and software, to save you and your comrades? Just to make things 
    specific, your job is to fire your rockets at their standard thrust along a 
    vector pointed at 6 hours RA and 20 degrees Declination (+/- 0.1 degrees in 
    both coordinates) at an exact specified distance of 900 miles (+/-10 miles) 
    from the Moon's surface on your current trajectory. If you do that, you will 
    be able to rendezvous with an orbiting rescue spacecraft and win the game. 
    Ready to go?? :-)
    >
    > -FER
    > PS: The spacecraft's windows are just windows. They are not optically flat.
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