GUIDANCE IS FOREVER

C. S. Draper

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: Space outside the earth's atmosphere and beyond its gravitational field has in recent times become available for travel by vehicles based on very new technology. Propulsion in this technology must depend on rockets that derive their energy entirely from vehicle-carried materials so that teh vacuum environment of space does not interfere with the generation of thrust. Rockets, of course, have been made and used since the days of antiquity to provide entertainment at celebratiosn and for the purpose of deluging target areas with low accuracy, and, therefore, largely ineffective military fire. It has only been thirty years since German scientists and engineers at Peenemunde recognized the universal importance of closely following programmed trajectories and began to use not-derived-from-aerodynamic-forces geometrical information from telescopes, radios, radars, and gyroscopic devices for the purposes of control, navigation and guidance. The resultant revolutionary innovations started teh modern era of accurate guidance for vehicles moving in three dimensions from the surface of our planet. This progress has been a strong factor in stimulating rocket vehicle developments beyond the stage of spectacular fireworks to hardware that has already demonstrated capabilities for sutainig sub-orbital, orbital and outer space missions of considerable complexity. Among the tasks now on teh pages of history are those in which men landed close to pre-selected points on the moon's surface, carried out assigned missions, and returned safety to target areas within a few hundred meters of designated landing points on the earth.
Published in: NAVIGATION, Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 18, Number 1
Pages: 26 - 50
Cite this article: Draper, C. S., "GUIDANCE IS FOREVER", NAVIGATION, Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 18, No. 1, Spring 1971, pp. 26-50.
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