September 28, 2005:
On September 25th, the first of a new generation of GPS satellites was put into orbit. This bird offers many new goodies, like a more powerful GPS signal, making it easier, and faster, for receivers to pick up a signal, and report where the user is. There are also two new encrypted signals for military users, which will increase the accuracy of smart bombs. Along those lines, there are new encryption and anti-jamming capabilities for military users. Seven more of these GPS IIR-14 (M) satellites are to be launched over the next few years. There are currently 28 GPS satellites in orbit, providing coverage for the entire planet, as well as spare satellites to take over if one in-use breaks down. By the end of the decade, military users will have access to the better accuracy and anti-jamming features over most of the planet.