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    Re: Navigation on other planets
    From: Sean C
    Date: 2014 Feb 22, 18:46 -0800

    My original question was indeed how to navigate on the surface of extra solar planets. Moreover, on planets roughly the same size as Earth and with the same potential for liquid water.

    Of course the first step would be to send some sort of probe/rover, like Curiosity. Speaking of which, I found an article online that had this to say:

    "Researchers say that if Curiosity ever loses its location on the surface of Mars, it could use eclipses to help it find its way.

    Researchers at the Complutense University of Madrid (Spain) have developed a method for helping Curiosity find its way around Mars by using Martian moons."

    Link to the article:
    http://www.redorbit.com/news/space/1112748345/martian-eclipse-curiosity-position-121312/

    However, it seems to me that sending an entire constellation of GPS satellites ahead of a landing party would be far more expensive and troublesome than generating an almanac for said planet. Assuming the planet is nearly spherical, the procedure would be the same, right? Even if the exoplanet's axial tilt and orbit are different than Earth's, it shouldn't matter...as long as the almanac takes that into account. As I said earlier, refraction values will probably be different, but dip should be the same (I think.) And depending on atmospheric conditions, celestial might be available more often than on Earth (or never.)

    I was just thinking that this may be an extremely cost effective and relatively easy and reliable method of navigating on other planets. And a good reason to keep the skills necessary for celestial navigation alive well into the future.

    Cheers,
    Sean C.
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