Colorado Celebrates Role In Developing GPS

The state of Colorado is getting its own special day to celebrate its role in the development of the Global Positioning System (GPS)--that commonly used satellite technology now used by smartphone users to figure out exactly where they are on earth. According to the Colorado Space Coalition, Governor Hickenlooper has declared Friday, July 17th as GPS Day in Colorado, to celeberate the 20 years since GPS was declared fully operational. The deployment and operation of the U.S. GPS system is operated by the 2nd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado. The U.S. Air Force Space Command declared the Global Positioning System at "Full Operational Capability" (FOC) on July 17, 1995. The group says there are now four billion GPS-enabled devices worldwide. The special day comes a day after the latest, GPS satellite launch--the GPS IIF-10 mission by United Launch Alliance--a part of the USAF's continuing replenishment of its GPS satellite constellation. The USAF launched its first GPS satellite in 1978. Image: GPS IIF satellite launch on Wednesday, courtesy NASA.