This is coolbert:
The underwater voyage of the nuclear submarine U.S.S. Nautilus to the North Pole was - - at the time - - a matter of considerable public interest. An "impossible" feat had been done? And "done" with relative ease at that?
"At 11:15 pm on August 3, 1958, NAUTILUS' second Commanding Officer, Commander William R. Anderson, announced to his crew, "For the world, our country, and the Navy - the North Pole." With 116 men aboard, NAUTILUS had accomplished the "impossible"" reaching the geographic North Pole - 90 degrees North."
I do recall the stir this voyage created. Anderson, along with his entire crew, were considered to be national heroes. Anderson in particular, was thought to be capable of very high political office and did serve in Congress for a time.
I would also ask the question, HOW WAS THE NAVIGATION OFFICER OF THE NAUTILUS ABLE TO DETERMINE THAT THE NORTH POLE HAD ACTUALLY BEEN REACHED?
The ship had ACTUALLY REACHED THE EXACT SPOT OF THE NORTH POLE, AND NOT AN APPROXIMATE POSITION?
Under the ice [the Nautilus was under the ice without possibility of surfacing the entire voyage], normal methods of navigation were not possible?
"The U.S. Navy developed the ships inertial navigation system (SINS), which allows a submarine to navigate underwater by keeping track of its relative motion from a known starting point. In practice, errors accumulate, requiring the submarine to approach the surface for periodic updates from external sources at periscope depth."
An inertial guidance system, by the standards of the time, or even now, provides ONLY an approximate location, NOT and exact one. Corrections are needed for exactness.
NOT being able to surface, or even come to periscope depth, meant that celestial bearings, LORAN readings from low-frequency communications, etc., were NOT possible.
[my understanding is that submarines are equipped with a tethered radio receiver buoy. The buoy is raised to the surface and radio signals can be received without the submarine surfacing. This too could not be done under the ice.]
LORAN can penetrate the water and ice to a degree that reception is possible?
[OMEGA did not come onto line until 1968 and of course no GPS existed in 1958.]
OR, some sort of secret [secret to this day], navigational system was available to the navigator of the Nautilus?
Anyone have an idea on this one?