Saturday, February 15, 2014

Units Matter

From Wired:

"A disaster investigation board reports that NASA’s Mars Climate Orbiter burned up in the Martian atmosphere because engineers failed to convert units from English to metric.
. . . 
A NASA review board found that the problem was in the software controlling the orbiter’s thrusters. The software calculated the force the thrusters needed to exert in pounds of force. A separate piece of software took in the data assuming it was in the metric unit: newtons."

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