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The first GPS NAVSTAR satellite NTS2 goes on display

Article by: Darren Griffin
Date: 9 May 2013

The first ever GPS Navstar satellite, or at least the non-flying twin of it, has gone on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

NTS-2 was the first of a four vehicle fleet of satellites, built by the Naval Research Laboratory, to demonstrate navigation positioning using satellites.

Launched in June 1977 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, NTS-2 carried two caesium atomic clocks and demonstrated 'passive ranging, the all important ability to measure the distance from the receiver to the satellite.

Once you could achieve that, and had access to two or more satellites, you could calculate your position.

Source: Naval Research Laborator

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