Search Menu
Photonics Media Photonics Marketplace Photonics Spectra BioPhotonics EuroPhotonics Vision Spectra Photonics Showcase Photonics ProdSpec Photonics Handbook

Scientist Accepts Blame for Satellite's Failure

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email Comments
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 7 -- A scientist at Utah State University (USU) is taking the blame for the recent failure of an $80 million NASA satellite mission. NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Explorer satellite, which carried a USU-built telescope on a four-month mission to study how stars and galaxies evolved, spun out of control shortly after its March 4 launch off the California coast.
Harry Ames of the school's Space Dynamics Laboratory said engineers have determined the cause of the satellite's failure. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, an unexpected power surge from a $2000 electronic circuit made the telescope cover pop off prematurely. Because USU engineers did not find the problem beforehand, Ames said, he is to blame for the failure of the mission. As the program manager and an SDL executive, I don't believe SDL should rely on anyone else ensuring that we're doing our job correctly, Ames said. In that respect, I personally accept accountability and responsibility for this failure. Ames noted that the power surge, which lasted a fortieth of a second, also went undetected in tests conducted by NASA engineers.
Jun 1999
News & Features

back to top
Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn YouTube RSS
©2020 Photonics Media, 100 West St., Pittsfield, MA, 01201 USA, [email protected]

Photonics Media, Laurin Publishing
x We deliver – right to your inbox. Subscribe FREE to our newsletters.
We use cookies to improve user experience and analyze our website traffic as stated in our Privacy Policy. By using this website, you agree to the use of cookies unless you have disabled them.