55 years of satellite navigation

Launch of satellite Transit 1B, April 13 1960 (Image: US Navy)

13 April 2015 was the 55th anniversary of the first navigation system reaching the orbit. The Transit 1B satellite was launched by NASA on 13 April 1960.

This satellite was designed to provide positioning for the US Navy’s fleet of Polaris ballistic missile submarines, a task it performed for over 30 years, as Money Week informs.

The Transit system can be considered as the ancestor of the Global Positioning System (GPS). GPS is constantly providing updated digital maps and other essential tools for our daily life.

Beside GPS, which covers the whole world, there are a few other systems aimed to cover large areas, like the China’s BeiDou system or the IRNSS from India. 

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