Science: No Wheels, No Friction

As man voyages farther toward the stars, and faster across the face of his own earth, the instruments by which he steers become vastly more important. And on planes or ships or spacecraft, the heart of the steering mechanism is a fast-spinning wheel called a gyroscope. These little wheels do their jobs because they try to point steadily in a fixed direction, and so they sense any turning motion of the vehicle that carries them. But conventional gyroscopes present a continuing problem. Because of friction in the bearings of their spinning wheels, they tend to drift slowly away from the proper...

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