GPS in history
/ Published January 26, 2016
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The Air Force launched 10 developmental Block I Global Positioning Satellites from 1978 through 1985. Built by Rockwell International, the 1974 contract called for eight satellites. In 1978, the Air Force ordered an additional three satellites. The early program suffered one launch failure when NAVSTAR 7 was lost Dec. 18, 1981. Block I satellites were launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, aboard Atlas rockets. Designed for a five-year mission life, the last Block I satellites, SVN-10, remained in service for more than 10 years.