Encyclopedia > Mariner 1

  Article Content

Mariner 1

Mariner 1, the first spacecraft of the Mariner program was intended to fly by Venus, but was destroyed by range safety during its launch on July 22, 1962. A hardware failure in an antenna caused the booster to lose contact with guidance systems on the ground, so an onboard computer assumed control. However, that computer's software contained a bug.

Reports that the bug consisted of a missing comma (specifically "DO I=1.10" instead of "DO I=1,10") are now considered to be an urban legend; the failure is blamed on a transcriber missing the handwritten superscript bar in "R-dot-bar sub n" (the n-th smoothed value of derivative of radius). Without the smoothing function indicated by the bar, normal minor variations of velocity were treated as if they were serious.

Its mission was later completed by Mariner 2.

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article
Canadian Music Hall of Fame

... Doherty[?] 1996 John Kay[?] 1996 Dominic Troiano[?] 1996 Zal Yanovsky 1997 Gil Evans[?] 1997 Lenny Breau[?] 1997 Maynard Ferguson 1997 Moe Koffman[?] ...

This page was created in 37.5 ms