Science: On Target

Looking forward to the day when it will have its own intermediate-range (1,500-mile) Fleet Ballistic Missile (the IRBM), the Navy this week placed in commission an experimental vessel named the Compass Island. The ship is jammed with feather-sensitive navigational equipment. The Island's mission: to test a navigational system capable of making the continuous hairline computations necessary to missile launching at sea.

The problem that has plagued Navy missile men up to now has been how to determine exactly and continuously where the ship is located on the earth's surface. At 1,500-mile range, such positioning...

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