My math teacher was talking about unit conversion today. He told us a story of the Mars Climate Orbiter. Prepare for one of the biggest “Oh WOWWWWWWWW” moments you are ever going to have in your life.
Artist’s rendering of Spacecraft Mars Climate Orbiter.
Image credit: NASA
Mars Climate Orbiter was a robotic space probe of NASA, built by Lockheed Martin, launched in late 1998. On September 23, 1999, we lost contact with the probe when it was supposed to enter Mars’ atmosphere. Investigation started. What went wrong with the $125 million probe?
Metrix mixup. The Lockheed Martin team used English system while NASA used metric system. Calculations showed that the probe had most likely disintegrated while entering Mars’ atmosphere.
Seriously, you guys?