December 11, 1998

On This Date in! in 1998 – The ‘Mars Climate Orbiter’ blasted off on a nine-month journey to the Red Planet. However, the probe disappeared in September of 1999, and was apparently destroyed because the scientists in charge of plotting it course had failed to convert English measures to metric values. This is one instance where failure to learn the metric system REALLY cost Americans millions of dollars and at least one NASA scientist his “Super-Genius Membership” card.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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