U.S. Air Force Says GPS Will Not Go Down. Famous Last Words?

I noted last week Friday that…

GPS Accuracy Could Start Eroding in 2010 Because of Satellite Launch Delays

There’s been a lot of discussion about this in the days since and PC World reported that…

Air Force Responds to GPS Outage Concerns

PC World provided this quoted response from the Air Force…

The issue is under control. We are working hard to get out the word. The issue is not whether GPS will stop working. There’s only a small risk we will not continue to exceed our performance standard

But, no one has said that the GPS satellite network will fail or incur and outage. Here’s the GAO (U.S. Government Accountability Office) quote from last week:

If the Air Force does not meet its schedule goals for development of GPS IIIA satellites, there will be an increased likelihood that in 2010, as old satellites begin to fail, the overall GPS constellation will fall below the number of satellites required to provide the level of GPS service that the U.S. government commits to.

The scheduled November 2009 GPS satellite launch is already 3 years late. The Air Force and the GAO can’t both be right. We’ll have to wait until next year (2010) for the facts to sort out.