14 February-GPS

GPS (Global Positioning System) is a network of around 30 satellites in orbit above the Earth which can beam signals to anyone with a GPS receiver. The system can, among other thigs, enable the user to pinpoint their exact position on earth. GPS is owned and maintained by the United States Government.

GPS began to be developed in the 1960’ during the Cold War. It was used at first exclusively by the military. In 1983 a Korean passenger accidently strayed into Soviet airspace. It was shot down with the loss of 269 lives. Following the incident the US Government made GPS available for civilian use.

The decision to make it available for civilian use required upgrading the system. This led to the development of Block II satellites. Launching the new satellites began in 1989. The system was declared fully operational in 1995.

The first satellite of the Global Positioning System was placed into orbit around Earth in the year 1989 On This Day.




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