Getting’s love for scientific research continued throughout his life, even when he was immersed in pressing management problems, first at Raytheon and later at Aerospace, or serving as a valued advisor to many branches of government. In his honor, the Board of Trustees of Aerospace Corporation named its research complex the Ivan A. Getting Laboratories.
In the face of some skepticism and opposition, Getting had worked tirelessly to make GPS a reality. After his retirement from Aerospace, as a member of an independent review team for many years, he continued to bring his expertise to bear on improving GPS. His efforts were rewarded as the concept grew from an idea to an operational constellation of many spacecraft and became not only an essential military system, but also a global utility serving millions of users throughout the world.
In March 2004, after his death, the Air Force launched a new member of the GPS constellation, with a plaque mounted on the satellite that will remain in orbit for a thousand years. A fitting tribute to his memory, the plaque reads:
Lighthouses in the Sky Serving All Mankind
Dr. Ivan A. Getting
Getting is survived by his wife, Helen; a daughter, Nancy G. Secker of Green Bay, Wisconsin; and two sons, Ivan C. Getting of Boulder, Colorado. Another son, Peter A. Getting of Iowa City, Iowa, died in 2007.