GPS Starts Failing in 2010?

Switched online is reporting an article in the UK’s The Guardian that GPS satellites could begin to fail as early as 2010.  They note that the Air Force maintains the satellite network and was supposed to launch the first replacement in 2007… which it promtly didn’t do.  The satellites have been up there for up to 20 years, so they’re about due for a replacement.  The Guardian is certainly targeted at a more general audience so it’s not suprising they’re missing some details.  For instance, there are a LOT of GPS satellites up there, so the loss of a few isn’t the end of the technology.  Also, the LANDSAT program proves that satellites are often built “like they use to” as the euphamism goes.  Still, it’s a good reminder that a lot of the basic technology infrastructure on which we all rely needs to be maintained every bit as much as roads and bridges.

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