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Return to The Global Positioning System

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a constellation of satellites orbiting the Earth approximately 11,000 miles in space. The GPS satellites in this animation are not drawn to scale. However, their orbits and orientation to the Earth are approximately correct. GPS satellites are organized into six different orbital paths completely covering the Earth. Looking at the Earth top down from the North Pole, the six orbits are spaced at 60 degree intervals. Looking at the Earth from the equator, each orbit is moderately tilted at 50 degrees. Animated version.

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