There's something to be said about not forgetting the old ways of doing things. For thousands of years, our ancestors have used the stars to navigate, and now the U.S. Navy is once again looking to the night sky.
According to the Capital Gazette, the Naval Academy is reinstating training on celestial navigation after abandoning the practice 20 years ago.
Why did the Navy get rid of the practice in the first place? Because GPS took over in the late 1990s.
And why is celestial navigation making a comeback? Because the military is realizing that in the age of cyber attacks, it's a good idea to have an analog backup.
Retired Navy Capt. Terry Carraway explains, "In the event that we had to go into a national emergency, we would probably have to shut the GPS down because it can be used by potential enemies. It would be pretty hard to train a lot of people in celestial navigation, so we wanted to keep contact with all the people who taught it."
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy instructor Capt. Timothy Tisch confirms, "Knowledge of celestial navigation in the GPS era provides a solid back-up form of navigation in the event GPS becomes unreliable for whatever reason. It is also good professional practice to use one navigational system to verify the accuracy of another."