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Issue 1 - July 2000

nasa scientists fail maths

nasa scientists fail mathsNASA scientists crashed a £78 million space probe because they forgot to convert imperial units to metric.

The space probe vanished soon after reaching Mars after a nine and a half month journey - all because NASA scientists overlooked a conversion of measurements from imperial to metric.

The Mars Climate Orbiter had successfully flown 760 million miles with the error unnoticed but as soon as it began circling the planet the probe vanished.

The mistake in calculations caused the satellite to burn up or break apart by moving too close to Mars.

NASA were apparently given the units for acceleration in pounds of force (imperial) instead of newtons (metric).

For those of you who are interested this is how to convert between the two units:
1 pound of force = 0.225 newtons 4.448 pounds of force= 1 newton

Source:
The Guardian Newspaper

 

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NASA Fails Maths

Risky Business

2000 Digit Millennium Prime

Maths Crossword

David Seaman Needs To Be Mathsman





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