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Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo Astronauts learned how to visually navigate in space using stars to guide their spacecraft. The astronauts learned to recognize stars by their brightness, distance from other prominent stars, and they viewed the stars they would reference on their trip back to Earth. The astronauts were able to study such specific information because mission flight plans were very specific and planned well in advance of missions.
The Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. More information about the planetarium and astronaut training can be found on their website.
Special thanks to Michele Kloda of the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center for her help finding photos for the Celestial Training pages.