On May 5, 2017, Richard Easton and Eric Frazier presented “GPS: American Invention, Global Impact” at the New York Military Affairs Symposium (NYMAS) on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan.
The talk focused on how GPS technology, which was conceived and developed in U.S. military laboratories to meet Cold War needs, has spawned a worldwide satellite navigation industry, with global revenues from devices themselves and added-value services enabled by them estimated by the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) to reach €270 billion to €300 billion by 2025.
C-SPAN was on hand to videotape the presentation for its “American History TV” series. The AH schedule shows the first air date as 2 p.m., June 3, 2017, on C-SPAN3. Afterward, it will be available to watch online.
SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with Richard Easton, co-author of GPS Declassified: From Smart Bombs to Smartphones, to discuss the development of GPS and its role in the military, intelligence, and civilian domains. Easton’s father, Roger, led the Space Applications Branch of the Naval Research Laboratory from the Vanguard Satellite era to the early days of GPS development. Listen to the entire podcast.
Richard Easton and Eric Frazier were recently invited by the National Security Space Institute (NSSI), located at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., to speak to students and faculty.
The two-day visit included a 90-minute presentation, July 21, as part of the Space Professionals Speaker Series, hosted by Gen. John E. Hyten, Commander, Air Force Space Command.
The authors got a behind-the-scenes tour of the GPS ground control facility at nearby Schriever AFB and met more than a dozen of the over 100 members of the 2nd Space Operations Squadron, who keep the GPS constellation running smoothly 24/7.
Easton and Frazier presented their talk, “GPS: Military Asset, Public Utility,” five times in all, including to the space professionals community, to three classes of NSSI students from the United States and allies, and to a faculty gathering.
For two individuals who have devoted countless hours to researching the historical development of GPS, as well as its economic and sociological implications, Easton and Frazier consider it a rare treat to have the opportunity to meet the experts who manage GPS and see firsthand the facilities they operate.
View the entire talk at YouTube:
The Space Review recently published Richard Easton’s article, “GPS origins myths as propounded by Stephen Johnson and Annie Jacobsen.” In the article, he lists a number of credibility-shattering errors found in two popular books that have received positive reviews and (unjustifiable) praise for their scholarship.
In most instances, a simple Google search and an hour or so of reading the results would have informed the writers that the two satellite systems they conflate–Transit and GPS–were developed by different entities at different times and used different technologies.
Public ignorance and misunderstanding about GPS is widespread. That might not matter much, if it were not a system that taxpayers spend around $1 billion a year to maintain and that has become a vital public utility around the planet. It is unfortunate that large publishers and media organizations unwittingly perpetuate errors and misunderstanding through lack of due diligence.
The recent article, “A Smart Bomb in Every Garage: Driverless Cars and the Future of Terrorist Attacks,” by Jeffrey Lewis, PhD, cites GPS Declassified. Lewis, a lecturer in International Studies at The Ohio State University, examines the threat of terrorists using self-driving cars to deliver car bombs. The article appears on The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) website.
On June 30, 2015, Richard joined a panel discussion on the Milt Rosenberg Show to talk about the history and future of space exploration.
Other guests were Bill Melberg, a former aviation executive and now editor of AmericasUncommonsense.com, professional speaker and frequent writer on aerospace topics, and Dr. Paul Spudis, an astrogeologist and moon expert who is senior staff scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas.
Listen to the podcast here.
Milt Rosenberg welcomes Bill Melberg and Richard Easton to the WCGO studio. On the desk in front of them sits a prototype model of the camera used on Surveyor I, the first unmanned lunar soft-lander.
On March 1, Richard Easton and Eric Frazier joined Dr. David Livingston, host of The Space Show, for a discussion about GPS modernization. Topics included new capabilities, schedule delays, cost overruns, international competition and potential threats to the system–a concern shared by many listeners, as evidenced by questions posed by email and callers. You can listen to the podcast here.
Keely Grasser, author of “From Duct Tape to Drones: Military Inventions That Impact our World,” in the Winter 2015 edition of Phoenix Patriot Magazine, interviewed Richard Easton and Eric Frazier for background information on GPS, one of eight innovations covered in the article. The key point she makes: GPS technology has spread throughout so many military, commercial and consumer industries that economists now find it impossible to accurately put a dollar figure on its overall worldwide impact.