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AF Space Command Says Keep Buying GPS

Like it or not, Twitter is a new, accepted way to communicate over the internet. The official U.S. Air Force Space Command held an interview over Twitter to answer questions regarding concerns of GPS satellites failing, possibly affecting the accuracy of global positioning systems.

Due to the nature of Twitter, the AF Space Command could only respond with messages no longer than 140 characters, but it still managed to stress several points that should put civilians at ease. We’ve clipped the pertinent bits for you to see here:

Agree w/ GAO there's a potential risk, but GPS isn't falling out of the sky-- e have plans to mitigate risk and prevent a gap in coverage.

The issue is not whether GPS will stop working. There's only a small risk we will not continue to exceed our performance standard

We're committed to the modernization of GPS. We already have two satellite programs underway to update our fleet.

We have the largest GPS constellation in history and active plans to mitigate any potential gap in coverage.

We have 30+ satellites on orbit now. We'll launch another in Aug 09, and again early 10. Going below 24 won't happen.

Go buy your GPS, it's a good bet. We have the largest and most accurate GPS constellation in history.

Check out the full transcript here. For now though, it seems that we can continue to depend on our electronic gadgets to tell us where to go.

  • I should have seen this coming. Twitter shall open the door to Skynet. "If you can hear this, you are the resistance." :3
  • anamaniac
    andeddhbnI should have seen this coming. Twitter shall open the door to Skynet. "If you can hear this, you are the resistance." :3
  • Luscious
    Either that or the guy has shares in Sirf.
  • Darkk
    They better keep up with the manintance and technology of the satellites as so much of it depends on GPS data. Especially the miliary, I hate to see their bombs blow up the wrong building due to inaccurate GPS data.

    Least for now GPS are pretty resilent to such GPS errors but still it's important to keep them running.
  • joebob2000
    The GAO will tell you the sky is falling if it will get them on the front page (they have, it did, here we are.) The fact is that the satellites are extremely reliable and it would be extraordinarily unlikely for enough to fail to cause performance problems. Sure, the satellites 'could' all start crashing into each other, getting dead batteries, or losing track of their cesium. The fact is that there have only been two failures in the history of US GPS, and they were at launch time and not in orbit.