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    Re: Space sextants
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2010 Nov 7, 00:50 -0700

    Since this list has not apparently made it into a NavList message, I thought it might be worth listing the navigational stars which were hard-wired into the Apollo Guidance Computer of the Apollo spacecraft back in the 1960s/70s. There were 37 Apollo stars including many of the common stars from the list of "57 navigational stars" (a list which was only complete in its modern form less than a decade before this list was assembled). The numbers are the octal (base 8) numbers that the astronauts entered into the computer so they appear to go up to "45" and there are none ending in 8 or 9. If the astronauts decided to use a planet, they entered star number "0" and then entered data from a table of "unit vectors" which gave planetary ephemerides equivalent to normal celestial coordinates for ever few days of the particular flight they were on.

    All of the star names will be familiar except maybe Navi, Regor, and Dnoces. If those don't ring a bell, just Google them for the story. There's also "Dabih" which is Beta Capricorni. Though that's not on the modern list of navigational stars, it was briefly the "tenth lunars star" for a few years back in the 18th century.

    Number,Star name
    0,Planet
    1,Alpheratz
    2,Diphda
    3,Navi
    4,Achernar
    5,Polaris
    6,Acamar
    7,Menkar
    10,Mirfak
    11,Aldebaran
    12,Rigel
    13,Capella
    14,Canopus
    15,Sirius
    16,Procyon
    17,Regor
    20,Dnoces
    21,Alphard
    22,Regulus
    23,Denebola
    24,Gienah
    25,Acrux
    26,Spica
    27,Alkaid
    30,Menkent
    31,Arcturus
    32,Alphecca
    33,Antares
    34,Atria
    35,Rasalhague
    36,Vega
    37,Nunki
    40,Altair
    41,Dabih
    42,Peacock
    43,Deneb
    44,Enif
    45,Fomalhaut
    46,Sun
    47,Earth
    50,Moon

    -FER


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