In his new book, Accessory to War, Neil deGrasse Tyson describes how before turning it to the skies, Galileo demonstrated his new invention, the telescope (above), to the most powerful person in Venice to prove its military value.
From telescopes to GPS: military, space science are linked
Space exploration may pull in the talent, but the military pays the bills to build the equipment, says Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Speaking from his publisher’s office in New York, Tyson explained how the first use of Galileo’s telescope was military, how GPS determined the outcome of the Second Gulf War, and why, despite his anti-war views, he regards the collaboration between the military and science as a two-way street.
This shared technology of methods and tools has been going on since the beginning of nations. If you wanted to know what was on the other side of the ocean, or if you wanted to dominate it, you needed to navigate your way there. And the only way you could do that was with an understanding of the sun, moon, and stars. Who could provide that? The astronomer.
Galileo, who perfected the