Geek Trivia

A Military Strike On A Korean Airliner Prompted Public Access To What?

North Korean Prisons
American Embassies
The Japanese Word For Bad Is Incorporated Into Which Video Game Character's Name?

Answer: GPS

In 1983 Korean Air Lines Flight 007 accidentally strayed into prohibited air space over the USSR. Russian interceptor jets shot the plane down–all 269 people aboard the passenger jet were killed.

In response to the tragedy, US President Ronald Reagan issued a directive that the Global Positioning System–then under development by the military–would be available for the public as tool for the betterment of mankind and to prevent future tragedies caused by out-dated navigation techniques.

When the system became fully operation in 1994, it included provisions for both military and civilian use. Restrictions on the accuracy of civilian GPS readings were maintained until relaxed by directive of President Bill Clinton in 1996–the order became effective May 1, 2000 and ever since then both civilian and military GPS units have access to the same high quality signals.