Satellite navigation – the next ten years


An interesting looks at satellite navigation!

Explaining Science

Satellite navigation is such a vital part of day-to-day life that other countries of the world are planning to build up their own network of navigation satellites and move away from total reliance on the American system, GPS.


As mentioned in my previous post, the GPS system is operated and funded by the US government. The first GPS satellite was launched in 1978 and, over the following years, more were launched – covering more and more of the Earth’s surface. In 1993 the system become fully operational when it had a full set of 24 satellites covering the entire surface of the globe. However the GPS signals were scrambled, making them available only to US military users who had the equipment to unscramble the signals. In 2000, following a decision by president Bill Clinton four years earlier, the signals stopped being scrambled and since then have been available for civilian use anywhere on the…

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