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Old 10-01-2006
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"But then, some people don't see the need for paper charts either!"

Yeah...like the US Navy again!

As the Institute of Navigation stated in 1999:
With the advent of GPS and other high-performance electronic satellite navigation systems that are fast and inexpensive, require no operator effort, and give a continuous read-out of position to within a few meters, using a sextant to take the stars is surely obsolete. Perhaps the death knell for celestial navigation was sounded in May 1998 when the United States Naval Academy announced it was discontinuing a course on celestial navigation and the use of the sextant that has been taught since the Academy's founding in 1845. Sooner or later, air and nautical almanacs will no longer be published and there will no longer be a need for hand-held instruments for taking the stars." Somewhat sadly, this may mean the demise of art in navigation.
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If you do celestial as a pleasure and an art...more power to you. If you think of it as an essential skill for a navigator today...you are a curmudgeon with your shorts in a knot!

http://www.ion.org/newsletter/v8n4.html
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