Tag Archives: Global Positioning System

GPS Origin Myths in Popular Books

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.

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START Consortium Article Cites GPS Declassified

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.

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Fourmilog – John Walker

“There are abundant technical details about the design and operation of the system, but the book is entirely accessible to the intelligent layman….This book is an essential history of how this technology came to be, how it works, and where it may be going in the future.”

— John Walker, founder of Autodesk, Inc. and co-author of AutoCAD

Read the full review at the Fourmilab website

Fourmilab home page

July 28, 2015 · 11:21 pm

Richard Returns to Milt Rosenberg Show

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.

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.

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GPS Update – The Space Show

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.

The Space Show

 

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H-Net Reviews – Raymond O’Mara

“(The authors) tell an interesting story of how humans adapted an existing technology to provide benefits unseen by their original creators, a theme common in the history of technology….Ultimately, GPS Declassified achieves the authors’ goal of introducing the reader to important elements of the story of the development of GPS.”
–Raymond O’Mara, H-Net Reviews in the Humanities and Social Sciences

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Quest – Roger D. Launius

“… A solid basic history of the subject. As an introduction it is quite useful. It also seeks, in the authors’ minds, to correct what they view as errors and omissions in the GPS origins story. Finally, it tells quite a number of stories about the uses of GPS and how the technology has changed our lives, and then they go on to project possibilities for uses yet to be realized. This is a useful work about a complex topic.”

–Roger D. Launius, Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly, vol 22, no 1

 

 

Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly Vol. 22, no. 1

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Phoenix Patriot Magazine Article Cites GPS Declassified

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.

GPS technology has grown so pervasive that its economic impact is immeasurable

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Richard Easton Discusses GPS with Business Insider

Business Insider recently spoke with Richard Easton for input on its article, How Does GPS Work?

Richard noted that while GPS costs about $1 billion a year to maintain and replenish, it produces perhaps $100 billion per year in economic benefits, quite a “bang for our buck.”

Applications for GPS continue to expand, owing largely to a decision made at the beginning–to make the system passive. GPS satellites broadcast one-way signals, like a radio station, meaning an unlimited number of users can share them without transmitting anything back to the satellite, which would saturate the system and limit its use.

II IIA 1 GPS

Photo via GPS.gov

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Spaceflight – Off the Shelf

“This book sets the record straight on just how remarkable has been the rise and rise of position-determination–the Global Positioning System, or GPS….(The) writers have combined their considerable talents to tell a highly readable story about the development of satellite navigation system….The book is a good primer and a stimulus to the more challenging aspects of what is now one of the fastest growing sectors in space applications.”

Spaceflight, Vol. 56, July 2014, a British Interplanetary Society publication

Spaceflight Vol 56 No 07 - July 2014

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