1 electrical short = 1 billion dollars

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Air Force blames rocket's loss on electrical short

Michael Cabbage of The Sentinel Staff

Published in The Orlando Sentinel, Jan 16 1999

CAPE CANAVERAL -- An electrical short led to the $1 billion loss of a Titan 4A rocket and its top-secret spy satellite cargo on Aug. 12, an Air Force investigation has concluded.

The findings made public Friday confirmed preliminary reports released immediately after the accident.

The rocket exploded 41 seconds after liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Station. Investigators found evidence that an exposed wire was likely the culprit.

After launch, as the rocket began to vibrate, the wire caused an electrical short that made power momentarily flicker in the Titan's guidance system. When the power was restored, the computer had lost its bearings and sent a command that caused the rocket to pitch.

One of the Titan's solid rocket motors then began to separate, triggering the vehicle's self-destruct system. The rocket was the last Titan 4A scheduled for launch.

The Air Force and officials at Lockheed Martin, the rocket's manufacturer, have yet to determine when the Titan's 4B version will return to flight.

"We and the Air Force will review the board's report and identify the work that needs to be done," said Lockheed Martin spokesman Evan McCollum. "Based on that review, we'll make a decision."

-- a (a@a.a), January 16, 1999


Why is this posted in a Y2k forum?

-- No Spam Please (anon@ymous.com), January 16, 1999.

Because it shows how one little glitch destroyed mucho-bucks worth of time, effort, research, manpower, and confidence. It vividly illustrates the interconnectedness of power disruption confusing a computer, thereby destroying the whole system and self-destructing. Thank you, a@a.a for posting this. Real-life examples that are easily visualized help one "Get It" more graphically.

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxx

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), January 16, 1999.

I heard the Air Force misplaced a hammer the other day and lost close to five thousand dollars in goods. So what if the lose a billion on a Titan rocket system? That doesn't prove anything about the effects of Y2K.

-- John (Skeptical@everyone.com), January 16, 1999.

http://www2.gol.com/users/png/ challenger_thermodynamics.html

-- one@ (one@home.com), January 16, 1999.

Instructions to John:

1. Firmly grasp head and pull from ass.

2. Pick up a copy of "Interconnectedness for Dummies" (may need to be in Braille)

3. Turn to page 1, orient rightside up.

4. Learn to read, assess, theorize. And you just may survive y2k yet.

-- a (a@a.a), January 16, 1999.

I doubt it

-- --- (-@--.--), January 16, 1999.

John is right - it's a meaningless comparison. As meaningless as the observation that the electricity power grid is struck by lightning many times daily, and nothing much happens. Does this mean that Y2K will be a non-event? Of course not!

-- Nigel Arnot (nra@maxwell.ph.kcl.ac.uk), January 18, 1999.

My dog took a shit on the while I was sitting on the computer. If I had not bought this computer, I would have paid attention to her barking and let her out.

-- PEEUUU (stinko@ .com), January 18, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ