NASA get their sums wrong again.

Well done NASA, looks like they got their arithmetic wrong again! According to NASA Prepares ISS for Shuttle Visit

they hadn’t calculated the effect adding 17.5 tons to the International Space Station, when they tried to boost it into a higher orbit! Another one to rack up alongside the failure of a probe to Mars (Mars Climate Orbiter) – in that case they mixed up their metric and english units, and not for the first time either.Some years ago, I knew an american woman who had worked at NASA in the years preceding the first flight of the Space Shuttlen (back in the 1970’s). They were in Mission Control running simulations of the Shuttle coming in to land. My friend was running the desk which monitored the attitude of the Shuttle, and it became apparent that the Shuttle was trying to land upside down. She called her supervisor over, who looked carefully at the animation on the monitor and said “No, it shouldn’t be doing that” and called a manager over. Eventually everyone in the room crowded around her station as they observed the Shuttle make a perfect landing – but upside down.

When all the data had been analysed it was traced to some code written by teams in the US, Canada and Europe. The US team had used Fahrenheit, the Canadians used Celcius and the Europeans, Kelvin. The combined error caused the Shuttle’s software to confuse “up” with “down”.

~ by @mmonyte on December 4, 2006.

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