Saturday, October 16, 2004

More great moments in aerospace.

Sensors to detect deceleration on NASA's Genesis space capsule were installed correctly but had been designed upside down, resulting in the failure to deploy the capsule’s parachutes. The design flaw is the prime suspect for why the capsule, carrying precious solar wind ions, crashed in Utah on 8 September, according to a NASA investigation board.

More on the story here.

Seriously, I've got to know, exactly what sort of qualifications does it take to work at NASA? Do they read the resumes of the people they hire? Do they bother calling their listed references to see if Joe-Bob really is a "rocket scientist"? Because, really, how hard is it to design something right-side up? I've helped put together more newspapers in my day than I could hope to remember, and not once -- not once -- did an ad accidently go to press upside down.


The funny thing in the quote above is how they point out at the sensors had been installed correctly, implying that if they had been installed incorrectly -- say, upside down -- everything would have worked out just fine.

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