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Concern Over GPS Network Stability

Is the GPS satellite network in peril? According to The Straight Dope,it is. We reported briefly in our book on a US Government Accountability Office report last spring that expressed concern about whether the GPS network could be maintained for very long as satellites age. You need 24 functional satellites for global coverage and we’ve got 31,but satellites will don’t last forever and we’re apparently not replacing the aging ones as fast as we should. The GAO estimates that the probability that all 24 satellites will be operational four years from now is as low as 80%. However,the Air Force says it has the matter well in hand and with so many people relying upon the satellite network for everything from vehicle navigation to geocaching,it seems unlikely that the government will let things deteriorate too far.

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