Sextant on the LM

If you would be asking yourselves how to navigate a spaceship lander on the Moon, this video might enlighten you with some stunning facts.

In order to leave the Earth to the Moon and back, you need to know exactly where you are at any given time. Since you can’t rely on a GPS, the old-fashion way with a sextant, like sailors used to solely depend on, needed to be considered. All space probes (especially unmanned ones) use ‘star trackers’, just like the title of the LunaTix base game indicates, to control their position on their trajectory.

During the Apollo missions they did just that. Where the command module had a separate sextant and telescope, the dual device was integrated into one singel scope. Mainly due to weight conserving quanderies, rather than fine tuning, the result tends to have a rather ingenius outcome, as explained by the engineerguy.

The¬†Alignment Optical Telescope in fact used any one star instead of mapping the horizon of a globe like a planet or moon, since there is none in open space. By using a turning lens, instead of a swinging mirror, with an alternative to concentric circles that otherwise would clutter the view, engineers came with a spectacular solution: they decided to use an Archimedes’ spiral!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *