CHAPTER  |  EIGHTEEN

Implementation Requires Controls

Our astronauts on their voyage to the moon were rarely on course. No, it wasn't that we picked poor navigators or that we did not train our astronauts well. But space navigation is immensely complex and the calculations are far from easy. First, both Moon and Earth are moving bodies. That's like taking off from Los Angeles during an earthquake to land in New York, which has lost its connection to the continent and is drifting away while rotating. Fortunately, the gyrations of both Earth and Moon are not random, and astronauts can predict how Los Angeles's gyrations have affected the spacecraft's course as it was thrown into space on takeoff, and where New York City's wanderings would take ...

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