Big government's inefficiency comes in a variety of flavors, and this one could hit your dashboards as early as next year. According to a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the U.S.' Global Positioning System (GPS) could begin to experience black-outs and general failures next year due to the delays, mismanagement and underinvestment by the U.S. Air force.

The report states, ""In recent years, the Air Force has struggled to successfully build GPS satellites within cost and schedule goals" and "If the Air Force does not meet its schedule goals for development of GPS IIIA satellites, there will be an increased likelihood that in 2010, as old satellites begin to fail, the overall GPS constellation will fall below the number of satellites required to provide the level of GPS service that the U.S. government commits to."

Not only are we all dependent on a variety of GPS devices – from standard-issue dash-mounted and in-car systems to smartphones – in our daily lives, there's the national security issue. China, India and Russia are working in earnest to get their own systems in place, and considering that the first replacement satellite is expected to be launched in November – three years after its initial deployment date – speeding up future launches is going to come at a significantly higher cost, adding additional complications and red-tape into the mix.

[Source: GAO via Engadget]

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