Técnico podcast “110 Histórias, 110 Objetos” – The “Gago Coutinho’s sextant”

The podcast “110 Histórias | 110 Objetos” (“110 Stories, 110 Objects”) covers the 110 years of history of Instituto Superior Técnico, through its past, present and future objects.

A collection of objects related to different fields, such as science, music, arts and sports, is the starting point for conversations with people who will tell us more about the history of these objects.

A new episode is released every week. The podcast “110 Histórias | 110 Objetos” (“110 Stories, 110 Objects”) is part of the Público newspaper podcasts.

Today’s episode (#62) – 30th September 2022: “110 Histórias | 110 Objetos” (“110 Stories, 110 Objects”) – The “Gago Coutinho’s sextant”.

The arrival of Sacadura Cabral and Gago Coutinho in Rio de Janeiro on board the “Santa Cruz” aircraft on 17th June 1922, marked one of the most important moments of the Portuguese 20th century. The success of this transatlantic flight was made possible thanks to the vision of Gago Coutinho, who adapted existing sextants and created the “Gago Coutinho’s sextant” in Técnico’s workshops, from 1920 to 1922. The instrument made it possible to create an artificial horizon, which allowed to fine-tune the orientation through innovative and rigorous calculations. It is possible that one or other specimen, built in Técnico’s workshops, lies at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean since 1922. However, it is more likely to see a copy of the sextant in the Lisbon Maritime Museum.

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