First, the software was programmed in meters instead of
feet on the Mars Climate Orbiter. Now, the same contractor appears
to have installed a gravity switch backwards, causing a quarter
billion dollar spacecraft to make one heck of a hole in the
The most recent spacecraft telemetry from Cassini was acquired
from the Goldstone tracking station on Wednesday, October 13. The
Cassini spacecraft is in an excellent state of health and is
The sixth annual “fly-in/camp-out” community open
house and pilot's block party took flight as scheduled October 8
and 9 at Holley Mountain Airpark, near Clinton (AK). There was one
hitch, however. There were no planes.
"The board is working to confirm this proximate cause to
determine why this error happened, why it was not caught by the
test program and an extensive system of in-process and
after-the-fact reviews of the Genesis system."
Source: Michael G. Ryschkewitsch,
chairman of the Genesis Mishap Investigation Board, commenting on
the fact that his investigation had turned up an improperly
installed gravity switch, responsible for deploying the two chutes
on the Genesis spacecraft, and for which contractor Lockheed Martin
appears to be responsible. The last time something like this
happened at Lockheed, Mars Climate Orbiter is believed to have made
a similar hole in Martian soil due to a programming error.