If that seems like an unlikely plot contrivance, just wait. The teenager then uses his knowledge of solar system distances, possible/probable spaceship speeds, and the gravity he experienced aboard the ship to figure out (correctly) where they have likely ended up, when their trip does end.
When I read this juvenile novel as a juvenile, I remember being mightily impressed by this feat of knowledge, memory, and mental calculation. Not so impressed to prepare myself to go out and do likewise, you understand, but impressed enough to feel inadequate about not so doing.
And impressed enough to remain interested in the general area of taking my understanding of my neighbourhood to the next level.
Today, as post #888, I share 25 maps of the world published by List 25 back in 2013. They are USA-centric, but they still offer new perspectives on our planetary ‘hood.