|Photo © Huckberry|
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Astronaut Gordon Cooper used a only wristwatch, knowledge of star patterns, and math estimations to correct pitch for re-entry when his capsule lost power.
"...precision was needed in the calculation since if the capsule came in too deep g-forces would be too large and if its trajectory was too shallow it would bounce off the atmosphere and be sent back into space. Cooper drew lines on the capsule window to help him check his orientation before firing the re-entry rockets. 'So I used my wrist watch for time,' he later recalled, 'my eyeballs out the window for attitude. Then I fired my retrorockets at the right time and landed right by the carrier.' Cooper's cool-headed performance and piloting skills led to a basic rethinking of design philosophy for later space missions."
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Found via Reddit: http://redd.it/n2o4m