A cornerstone of electronic navigation is consigned to history

As part of ybw.com’s 10th anniversary we’re going to be trawling the archives to see what news stories were making the headlines a decade ago. Don’t forget to join the celebration by entering our £40,000 competition – just click here to go to the competition page.

In July 1997, the gallop of technology consigned one of the cornerstones of electronic navigation to history. At the end of the year, the Transit satellite navigation system would no longer give valid fixes of timing references.

Quaint old Satnav, with its four hour or more gaps between fixes, was the first all-weather, global navigation system. Operated by the US Navy, it heralded a new era in precision ocean passage-making.

Simple and crude even by 1997 standards, it was thoroughly upstaged by GPS and allowed to decay quietly.