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Commercialization

Another Stupid Mistake by LockMart

By Keith Cowing
October 17, 2004

15 October 2004: Genesis crash linked to upside-down design, New Scientist

“Sensors to detect deceleration on NASA’s Genesis space capsule were installed correctly but had been designed upside down, resulting in the failure to deploy the capsule’s parachutes. The design flaw is the prime suspect for why the capsule, carrying precious solar wind ions, crashed in Utah on 8 September, according to a NASA investigation board.”

Editor’s note: let’s see – Lockheed Martin doesn’t do an English/metric unit conversion and Mars Climate Orbiter hits the planet. Weeks later, Lockheed Martin does not do a full check of all systems and the shock of deploying its landing legs causes the engines to shut down and Mars Polar Lander crashes into Mars. More recently, Lockheed drops NOAA-N-Prime because someone forgot to bolt it down. Now this stupid mistake (which happened a number of years ago). Given the amount of business NASA gives LockMart, you’d think they have started to pay a little more attention to quality control after all these goof-ups.

Editor’s note: From a NASA Watch Reader:

And, lets not forget LockMarts spectacular Titan IV screw-ups:

–1998: LockMart Titan IV-A carrying a billion-dollar LockMart NRO spysat explodes shortly after liftoff from Cape Canaveral . Cause: Frayed Wiring.

–1999: Multi-billion dollar LockMart Milstar 4 was placed into a useless orbit by a LockMart Titan/Centaur upper stage. Cause: Erroneous calculations fed into the Centaur guidance system. Official explanation: Our engineers were traumatized by the Columbine shootings.

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.