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Re: IEEE Spectrum article about Mars Climate Observer failure

I may have made a goof when I posted the URL for the Mars Climate Observer
article yesterday on Amsat-bb. I assumed that the article was publicly
available because I
did not have to type a member ID or password to access it. However other
people have not been able to access the article when they tried to read it,
the system asked for their IEEE member ID and password. My guess is that my
password may have been stored in the cookie file on this machine so maybe it
remembered me from a previous log in. Just now I tried this from a different
machine and could not get the article directly from the URL.
However I was able to read the article by going to
http://www.spectrum.ieee.org and clicking on "Search Public Access" in the
upper left corner. This brings up a search menu, type "Mars" as your keyword
and you get a list of articles.  If you click on "Why the Mars Probe went off
course" it asks for a password, but if you click on "Why the Mars Probe went
off course Figure 3" you get an HTML version of figure 3, if you then click on
"go to previous page" in the upper left corner of that figure you get the full
text of the article. Since this is how I located the article in the first
place, it seems I may have unwittingly walked in through the back door, and
then I gave the front door URL to the amsat-bb mail list. If "Figure 3" asks
you for a paswword, try all of the other figures in the list, one of them will
let you in. The internet is still a tricky place to live......

If you are unable to get the article on-line, it is well worth a trip to the
library. It covers the decision making process in JPL management and how they
decided not to do a last minute course correction that might have saved the
spacecraft. As in the Challenger accident, the burden was on the engineers to
prove that something was wrong. It is in the December 1999 issue of IEEE
Spectrum, the membership magazine of the Institute of Electrical and
Electronics Engineers.

Dan Schultz, N8FGV
Via the amsat-bb mailing list at AMSAT.ORG courtesy of AMSAT-NA.
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