After two decades, sailing by the stars is back at the Naval Academy

Sextant

The Washington Post. 

Almost 20 years after the last class of midshipman at the Naval Academy learned how to navigate by the stars, celestial navigation has once again entered the classroom.

The renewed focus on the old has nothing to do with maritime lore or when life was measured by years before the mast, but rather because of the emerging cyber-security threat, according to a report in the Annapolis, Md-based Capital Gazette.

“We went away from celestial navigation because computers are great,” Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Rogers, the deputy chairman of the academy’s Department of Seamanship and Navigation, told the Capital Gazette. “The problem is, there’s no backup.”

But just because celestial instruction is back, that doesn’t mean these midshipmen are going to be the Horatio Hornblowers of the 21st century. According to the Gazette report, instruction is limited to three hours and, at the moment, just basic theory.

Continue reading at the Washington Post here.

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