Pipe and slippers time for SVN-15

Global positioning – once the stuff of comic books – is entering maturity

The oldest operational satellite in the GPS constellation has broadcast its signal for more than 16 years. Satellite Vehicle Number (SVN) 15 was launched from Cape Canaveral on 1 October 1990.

It was in operation more than twice as long as it was designed for, but now the onboard clocks have gone out of specification.

SVN-15 was removed from operational use on 14 March and, after end-of-life testing that will take about a month, it will be boosted into a disposal orbit.

Source: US military