The sextant, invented in the 18th century by British mathematical instrument makers, became the most essential instrument for celestial navigation. Jesse Ramsden, who made this sextant, also devised a machine to divide the scale on the sextant very precisely. Courtesy of the Air and Space Museum
In honor of its exhibit opening April 12, the Air and Space museum hosted journalists and social media friends for a behind-the-scenes tour of the exhibit. From early navigation at sea and skies and to outer-space and back again, the exhibit spans hundreds of years of technological change.
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The Smithsonian is a repository of America's history, achievements, aspirations, and identity. It holds the artifacts of great leaders, and those of ordinary Americans. It houses scientific specimens and technological wonders. It is home to art, music, films, writings-a vast treasure trove of objects of extraordinary beauty and outstanding design.