Animadversions.

The weblog of Joshua Drescher

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There’s disappointment…

January 22nd, 2005 · No Comments · Misc., Technology

…and then there’s DISAPPOINTMENT.

David Atkinson spent 18 years designing an experiment for the unmanned space mission to Saturn. Now some pieces of it are lost in space. Someone forgot to turn on the instrument Atkinson needed to measure the winds on Saturn’s largest moon.

“The story is actually fairly gruesome,” the University of Idaho scientist said in an e-mail from Germany, the headquarters of the European Space Agency. “It was human error - the command to turn the instrument on was forgotten.”

“In total, the core of our team has invested something like 80 man years on this experiment, 18 of which are mine,” Atkinson wrote. “I think right now the key lesson is this - if you’re looking for a job with instant and guaranteed success, this isn’t it.”

Ouch.

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