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Re: MARS Climate Observer -- Failure Mode



Tom,
This happens more often in the real world than most people would like to 
believe.  On a chemical plant project I am working on (being built in 
Malaysia), the underground ductbank (used to hold electrical cables) is 
specified on the drawings as being 3 feet deep.  We now have a dispute with 
the owner, who claims we should have known the ductbank was to be 3 meters 
deep (ostensibly, to protect it from truck traffic).  It's a lump sum job.  
What can I say?

When it is all said and done, you can be sure NASA will rest the blame on 
L-M, the contractor.
73,
Jerry, K5OE

is > This would be funny if it wasn't so sad! NASA today released a
>  report on the reason that the the Mars Climate Observer had its
>  catastrophic failure last week. The Locheed-Martin (LockMart -- your
>  one stop aerospace contractor) team in Colorado transmitted some
>  crucial data to the JPL controllers. Unfortuanately, LockMart
>  used English (feet-inches) and JPL expected metric units. The
>  result was that the spacecraft was destroyed as it slammed into the 
>  Martian atmosphere. The following press release is on the NASA web 
>  site at URL
>  
>        ftp://ftp.hq.nasa.gov/pub/pao/pressrel/1999/99-113.txt
>  
>  Tom
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