Welcome to the NavList Message Boards.


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

Compose Your Message

Add Images & Files
    Re: X-ray sextant
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2018 Feb 10, 13:05 -0800

    The coverage in Ocean Navigator is late to the game. This has been discussed in NavList messages for many years. The recent attention probably follows a NASA press release last month: https://gameon.nasa.gov/category/deep-space-navigation-and-communication/.

    Though we allow the word sextant to be used for a rather broad range of instruments, it should be added that this NASA experiment, which uses the nickname "SEXTANT", is nothing like a sextant. A better description for this would be something like "Nature's GPS". It operates in the time domain, like GPS, and not in the angle domain, like a sextant. By comparing the delays in the signals from pulsars, a position can ber determined in much the same way as by GPS.

    Should we celebrate NASA's amazing achievement? Sure. Whoopee. So long as money does not exist in our glorious Tomorrowland world. This experiment is probably decades away from being fielded in any real navigation context. It's un-necessary "space cadet" game-play. Its presence as an experimental package on the International Space Station is a fine reminder of the simple fact that space stations encourage pointless, make-work projects. It's grotesquely wasteful government pork. The space station is a hole in space surrounded by aluminum, into which you pour money.

    Frank Reed


    Browse Files

    Drop Files


    What is NavList?

    Join NavList

    (please, no nicknames or handles)
    Do you want to receive all group messages by email?
    Yes No

    You can also join by posting. Your first on-topic post automatically makes you a member.

    Posting Code

    Enter the email address associated with your NavList messages. Your posting code will be emailed to you immediately.

    Email Settings

    Posting Code:

    Custom Index

    Start date: (yyyymm dd)
    End date: (yyyymm dd)

    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site