Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Space probe error
According to an article at www.cnn.com on June 14 2006 and recreated in the risks digest at http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/24.33.html engineers made a catastrophic error when they put together the Genesis space probe. Apparently they put in gravity switches in backward. These were supposed to deploy a parachute as the probe returned to earth, but instead it crashed to earth and was destroyed. Also, the makers skipped a critical pre-launch test and simply did a paperwork review. It is claimed this was partly due to severe financial constraints caused by competitive tendering process.