technological triumph known as GPS - the Global Positioning System
of satellite-based navigation - was incubated in the mind of Ivan
Getting. While serving as the vice president of research and engineering
at the Raytheon Corporation during the 1950s, Getting advanced
the concept of using an advanced system of satellites to allow
the calculation of exquisitely precise positioning data for rapidly
moving vehicles ranging from cars to missiles. Turning Getting's
concept into reality required a massive financial commitment from
the government and a vast team of scientists and engineers, but
the resulting technology makes possible a wide range of military
and civilian uses that continue to grow rapidly. Getting also
made significant contributions to the early development of radar,
to space programs including Projects Mercury and Gemini, and to
the creation of powerful chemical-based lasers.
in 1912 in New York City, Getting earned a B.S. from the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology in 1933, then attended Oxford University
as a Rhodes Scholar, receiving a Ph.D. in astrophysics in 1935.
He received numerous awards during his life, including the Presidential
Medal of Merit.