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GPS The Future of Navigation and Technology As we enter the 21st century we are constantly being bombarded with new technologies From the wireless community to operations that once took weeks to recover and now only take a day or so our world will never be the same Another technology that is revolutionizing the world we live in is the Global Positioning System or GPS The first GPS satellite was called GPS Block I Launched in 1978 it was a developmental satellite Another nine Block I satellites were launched through 1988 GPS is the only system today able to show you your exact position on the Earth anytime in any weather anywhere There are 24 GPS satellites in orbiting the world at 11000 nautical miles above the Earth Ground stations located worldwide continuously monitor them They transmit signals that can be detected by anyone with a GPS receiver Using the receiver you can determine your location with great precision GPS is one of historys most exciting and revolutionary developments and new uses for it are constantly being discovered But before I go any farther its important to understand a bit more about navigation Since prehistoric times people have been trying to figure out a reliable way to tell where they are to help guide them to where they are going and to get them back home again Cavemen probably used stones and twigs to mark a trail when they set out hunting for food The earliest mariners followed the coast closely to keep from getting lost When navigators first sailed into the open ocean they discovered they could chart their course by following the stars The ancient Phoenicians used the North Star to journey from Egypt and Crete According to Homer the goddess Athena told Odysseus to keep the Great Bear on his left during his travels from Calypsos Island Unfortunately for Odysseus and all the other mariners the stars are only visible
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