# Thread: Seeking info on lost probe

1. Lat night during my Science Methods (teaching) class, we were evaluating the lesson plans each of us were developing. One of the students is doing his on weights and measuremnts and stuff like that. he had expressed the desire to transfer to the students the importance of accurate measurements to include the conversions feom English to metric.

Naturally, the first thing that pops into my mind was the probe sent to Mars that was lost because different people working on the probe used different measurement systems, or something like that. Both he and the teacher thought that would be a great example, but none of us could remember the exact details nor even the name of the probe. I've tried to look fo it, but searching under "Mars + probe" is not narrowing it down enough.

Can anyone help me out here? Thanks!

2. Mars Climate Orbiter

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msp98/orbiter/

Harald

3. Much thanks!
[img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

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Although non-space related, probably a more dramatic example of the confusion that can be caused over using different methods of measuring is the case of "The Gimli Glider". In 1983 an Air Canada Boeing 767 ran out of fuel at 30,000 because an insufficient amount had been taken on board. Amazingly, the plane made a safe glide approach and landing at a disused Canadian military air base without serious damage or injury.

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Speak of the devil. I just saw a Discovery channel documentary on airline near-disasters yesterday, and it featured the Gimli glider.

Fascinating story.

Edit: I remember they said that the problem was compounded by a faulty gauge as well as the metric conversion, so the plane took off with only half of the fuel it needed. When the engines cut out, the pilot had to glide the 767 in for a landing. To cut speed he had to side slip the aircraft, basically flying it sideways towards the runway. Remember, this is a wide body jumbo jet we're talking about here. It's amazing that he was able to pull it off.
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...And that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped. --Sir Bedevere

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David Hall on 2003-03-18 14:07 ]</font>

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For more info on the "Gimli Glider" try this site. I’ve “sideslipped” SG 2-33’s and an SG 1-26 but I can’t image doing it in a 767.

[edit to fix @#\$%^*! bbcode]

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: SpacedOut on 2003-03-18 14:20 ]</font>

7. Thanks. I sent my classmate that info, too.

8. In 2000, a German Airbus made a glide to Vienna airport. It had taken off in Greece and couldn't retract it's landing gear. The crew assumed, they could make it to their destination Hanover, but this was a miscalculation. On their approach to Vienna, they ran out of fuel and just made it short to the runway, getting some damage.
http://aviation-safety.net/database/2000/000712-0.htm

Harald

9. Amazingly, the plane made a safe glide approach and landing at a disused Canadian military air base without serious damage or injury.
Not exactly disused. While it is true that it was not being used as an airbase at the time, it was being used as a race track! [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_eek.gif[/img]

10. ... And had a nice big concrete divider running down the length of the runway.

11. g99
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On 2003-03-18 13:01, Eric McLoughlin wrote:
Amazingly, the plane made a safe glide approach and landing at a disused Canadian military air base without serious damage or injury.
Renminds me of that old joke:

A plane is flying from NYC to Toronto, Canada. Directly over the border it mysteroisly looses control and crashes. So where do you bury the survivors?

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There was a similar incident not to long ago where an AirTransat Airbus A340 ran out of fuel over the atlantic and made an emergency landing in the Azores, but I think in that case fuel pumps failed or something.

13. FP
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Originally Posted by g99
Renminds me of that old joke:

A plane is flying from NYC to Toronto, Canada. Directly over the border it mysteroisly looses control and crashes. So where do you bury the survivors?
I don't know about Canada, but in the US we generally don't bury the survivors.

14. g99
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We used to bury survivors untill their families complained to us. So now we just slap them with a good "What were you thinking!".

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Originally Posted by g99
We used to bury survivors untill their families complained to us. So now we just slap them with a good "What were you thinking!".
Don't we put them on reality tv shows?

16. Originally Posted by g99
We used to bury survivors untill their families complained to us. So now we just slap them with a good "What were you thinking!".
And what did you do with the dead? Soylent Green?

17. g99
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Originally Posted by daver

Don't we put them on reality tv shows?
Nah! Those are saved for the real freaks. Namely down on their luck actors. (Read: everyone who has ever had a show on UPN or named Gilbert Gottfried (sp?) )

Originally Posted by kucharek

And what did you do with the dead? Soylent Green?
It would solve the whole "what the heck is in chicken nuggets" problem. But no. We use them as secrateries to answer phones for large companies.

18. My latest issue of American Heritage of Invention and Technology reports that another reason for the failure of the Spanish Armada was lack of standards: the cannons and ammunition carried on board was gathered from all over Europe and often did not match up. Some ships returned to port having used only a fourth of their shot because that was all that fit their cannons.

19. g99
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Originally Posted by ToSeek
My latest issue of American Heritage of Invention and Technology reports that another reason for the failure of the Spanish Armada was lack of standards: the cannons and ammunition carried on board was gathered from all over Europe and often did not match up. Some ships returned to port having used only a fourth of their shot because that was all that fit their cannons.
I have always heard it a combination of very poor weather, incompitent admiralship, and much faster and well armed brittish ships.

But yours probobly adds to that.

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