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Thursday, January 11, 2007

software bug killed Mars Global Surveyor

I'm always interested to see what brings down these hundred million dollar babies.

In this case two bad addresses brought down a satellite that cost about $220 million to build and launch.

NASA Decides That A Software Error Doomed The Mars Global Surveyor Spacecraft | SpaceRef - Your Space Reference: "This software tried to synch up two flight processors. Two addresses were incorrect - two memory addresses were over written. As the geometry evolved, we drove the [solar] arrays against a hard stop and the spacecraft went into safe mode. The radiator for the battery pointed at the sun, the temperature went up, and battery failed. But this should be treated as preliminary."



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