The history of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) dates back to the 1960s, when the US military developed a system called NAVSTAR (Navigation System with Timing and Ranging) to provide accurate navigation and positioning information for military operations. The first NAVSTAR satellite was launched in 1978, and the system was gradually expanded over the following decades to include a network of satellites that could provide global coverage.
In the 1980s, the US government made GPS technology available for civilian use, and it quickly became popular for a variety of applications, including outdoor recreation, transportation, and mapping. In the 1990s, the US government removed selective availability, a feature that had intentionally degraded the accuracy of GPS signals for civilian users, making GPS technology even more accurate and widely available.
Today, GPS technology is used in a wide range of applications, including navigation, mapping, location tracking, and more, and it has become an essential tool for many people around the world. The GPS system is currently operated by the US Air Force and consists of a network of 31 satellites in orbit around the earth, providing global coverage and high-precision positioning information.