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FWD: [lunascan] MARS ORBITER screwup...

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  • Frits Westra
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 2, 1999
      From: Larry Hatch <larryhat@...>
      Subject: [lunascan] MARS ORBITER screwup..

      Hello Fran and Buck:

      If I take the latest Orbiter Team statements correctly,
      the error occurred just as Orbiter was headed in for
      orbital insertion, not way back early in its trajectory
      from Earth.

      A 4.45-to-one propulsion error, early on, would have
      screwed things up so bad that Orbiter wouldn't have
      gone anywhere near Mars.

      The latest statements seem to indicate that one team
      ( doing highly complex computer simulations ) sent
      some all important force/acceleration figures, in Metric,
      to another team; which punched them in as if they
      were English system units.

      Dunderheaded? That's an understatement.

      Who's using English units in rocket science?

      Still, its so bone-brained dumb, that I tend to believe
      them. A cover-up would be more "slick" than that.

      Do you remember why we lost that expensive space
      shuttle, crew and all, a dozen years ago? It turned
      out to be an O-ring seal. All those rocket scientists
      failed to consider the effects of temperature on its
      particular composition.

      No, I have no problem believing the Metric / English
      units explanation. I'm just amazed they admitted it.

      How would you like to be the guy who assumed the
      numbers were in pounds/inches or whatever "English"
      ( now almost exclusively American ) units.

      [ He won't be voted employee of the month. ]

      In my job, I use both measures almost interchangeably.

      If I screw up, the most we can lose is a big mess
      of semiconductors [ and maybe my job ] bad enough,
      but nothing like this.

      NASA's ability to "fess up", after an embarrassment
      of this magnitude, lends them more credibility,
      not less, in my personal opinion.

      Like all of us, I would like a detailed explanation
      of how and when these errors occurred. I would
      like the opinions of someone qualified in the physics
      of space navigation. It sure isn't your's truly.

      Very best wishes ( no rocket scientist )

      - Larry Hatch

      = = = = = = = = =

      slk wrote:

      > At 12:43 AM 10/2/99 -0400, Buck wrote:
      > >Lan wrote:
      > >>An article in today's paper says that "the errors were repeated throughout
      > >>four major maneuvers and other smaller steerings during the Clime Orbiter's
      > >>jounrey..."

      Now THAT part, I do not understand, unless the
      four major maneuvers were all at the very end of
      the journey. -LH

      > >This sounds pretty fishy to me. One pound = 4.45 newtons. With an error
      > >factor of +4, it seems that the spacecraft should've been much, much
      > >farther off course than what they said it was. Hmmmm.
      > Buck,
      > Good observation. That's the point we're trying to make and some still
      > don't "get it". I know it makes us all look paranoid at times but something
      > is wrong. Besides, they punch in numbers and check the "model" before they
      > go ahead with any maneuver or command: numbers, check, OK, go. If they
      > screw up its, numbers, check, "uh oh", redo, check, OK, go. Come on,
      > people. This is not 1957 or 1967. We're not new at this.
      > I WILL admit this: I held out all these years with these suspicians about
      > NASA and some of these missions. To me it "looked" suspsicious in some
      > instances, but I wasn't ready to point the finger. I can't help it. I'm
      > very concerned at this point.
      > Fran
      > Support AND USE the research web sites by sending donations to:
      > Web Site, 618 Davis Drive, Mt. Vernon, IN 47620
      > http://www.evansville.net/~slk/nicap.html
      > http://www.evansville.net/~slk/lshomepage.html

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