GPS Satellite Launches Are Behind Schedule
A government report says the accuracy of GPS signals could deteriorate in the next few years because of delays in satellite launches, but the Air Force says it has plenty of ways of keeping up the navigation system increasingly relied on by drivers and cellphone users.The Government Accountability Office reported last month that there is a risk that launches of new satellites will not keep pace with the wear and tear on the global positioning system.
That could mean the accuracy and reliability of hundreds of millions of civilian and military GPS devices â€” including everything from "buddy finder" cellphone applications to guided bombs â€” could degrade until new satellites are in orbit.
The next generation of GPS satellites, dubbed IIF, has been beset by launch delays and budget overruns. Contractor Boeing Co. said the delays were due to design changes necessary to ensure that the satellites would last. The work is now done, and the first IIF is slated to launch in November, nearly three years behind schedule.