In 2000, the Clinton administration made the decision to release an undisrupted Global Positioning System (GPS) for civilian use. Since then, GPS has become an integral part of our commercial economy and everyday life. Hans Binnendijk, who served from 1999 to 2001
on the National Security Council, was involved in the decision making process.
GPS was developed by the military for military use during the 60s and 70s. The system has its origins in the Space Race era, when U.S. scientists observed the Doppler effect created by Sputnik. The U.S. Navy launched its first experimental satellites in the mid 60s to track their nuclear submarines. The Department of Defense embraced the Navy’s program, and in the early 70s began developing a military-wide navigation system called NAVSTAR. The then-24 satellite system would be fully operational by 1993.