Back to the future
US Navy recruits to learn how to navigate using the stars as America grows increasingly worried about possible hacking of computer navigation systems
US navy returns to celestial navigation amid fears of computer hack
By Harriet Alexander, New York
It was how Odysseus sailed the seas, how Columbus reached the Americas, and how Lawrence of Arabia found his way across the vast, featureless deserts of the Middle East.
For millennia, travellers used the stars to guide them on their journeys – a technique which, in recent decades, has been replaced by modern technology.
But now the US navy is reinstating classes on celestial navigation for all new recruits, teaching the use of sextants – instruments made of mirrors used to calculate angles and plot directions – because of rising concerns that computers used to chart courses could be hacked or malfunction.
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