About That GPS Gap

According to Lt. Gen. Larry James, commander of 14th Air Force and the Joint Force Component Command for Space, there is no “on or off” with regards to a potential gap in GPS coverage projected recently by the Government Accountability Office. (See above) James told a House Oversight and Government Reform panel May 7 that is the number of operational satellites drops, Air Force Space Command operators have options, like providing less coverage to areas where there is less need. Other options, James continued, include use of “three residual spacecraft” that are tested every six months to ensure “they still have a valid navigation signal and power management to extend the service life of individual spacecraft. Right now, AFSPC is maintaining 30 operational satellites, six more than the required 24-sat constellation. In short, James said, “We can manage this.” (James written testimony)