February 22, 1978

1978: From Vandenberg AFB, Calif., an Atlas F booster placed the first Navigation System Timing and Ranging (NAVSTAR 1), a Global Positioning Satellite, into orbit. On 31 March, the satellite became operational. OPS 5111, also known as Navstar 1, NDS-1, GPS I-1 and GPS SVN-1, was an American navigation satellite launched in 1978 as part of the Global Positioning System development program. It was the first GPS satellite to be launched, and one of eleven Block I demonstration satellites.