Science: Rapid Transit

The compass, the chronometer, the sextant gradually changed navigation from an art to a science, made mere curiosities of such seafaring geniuses as the early Polynesians—who, according to legend, could smell land far beyond the horizon and head their boats accordingly. In 1960, man's most accurate substitute for weather-dependent celestial navigation is World War II's loran (for long-range aid to navigation), a system of cross-monitored radio signals that is highly expensive and covers only the more frequently traveled parts of the earth. Last week loran seemed destined for obsolescence, as an experimental Navy...

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