The Naval Academy stopped teaching celestial navigation in the late 1990s, deeming the hard-to-learn skill irrelevant in an era when satellites can relay a ship's location with remarkable ease and precision.
But satellites and GPS are vulnerable to cyber attack. The tools of yesteryear -- sextants, nautical almanacs, volumes of tables -- are not. With that in mind, the academy is reinstating celestial navigation into its curriculum. Wooden boxes with decades-old instruments will be dusted off and opened, and students will once again learn to chart a course by measuring the angles of stars.
As it rebuilds the program, the Navy is getting help from the US Merchant Marine Academy, which never stopped teaching celestial navigation.
US Navy Revives Ancient Navigation
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