Ukrainian Chief Scientist of the U.S. Air Force credited for initiation of GPS: Michael Yarymovych


But Yarymovych knew the idea of space-based navigation was beautiful; it just wasn’t being sold right. He went to his boss, Air Force Chief of Staff General John D. Ryan, and got another chance to get things going. Yarymovych began forging compromises among the Air Force, Army, and Navy, putting together the best pieces from all quarters. One of his tactics involved changing the name of the system, with help from Colonel Brad Parkinson, who headed up the Air Force’s DNSS proposal. “The Air Force was in the middle of Vietnam: they were in no mood to think of fancy new space programs,” says Yarymovych. In a fighter pilot culture focused on pointy jets and dogfights, “satellite was a bad word, so I said, ‘Why call it satellite? You have LORAN, you don’t call it an antenna. It gives your position any place on the globe, right? So it’s a global positioning system.’ And it stuck.”

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