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Stephen Leake <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 5 Dec 2000 11:26:17 -0500
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"S. Ron Oliver" <[log in to unmask]> writes:

> Does anyone on Team-Ada work for NASA, either directly or as a contractor?

I work at NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center. We do the weather
satellites that give you all those pretty pictures every day, as well
as Earth observations that help farmers grow more food, and cosmology
that helps understand were we came from. I do satellite software;
compilers, real time control, simulation.

> More specifically, does anyone know anything about two Mars probes,
> the Mars Climate Orbiter (MCO) and the Mars Polar Lander (MPL),
> built for NASA by Lockheed Martin, with some work being done by JPL?

I occasionally work with some of the people at JPL; they do satellites
too, so we keep in touch. I am aware of the basics of the Mars

> I'm asking because I'm getting ready to flame anyone involved with
> those programs, and I want to know, ahead of time, who's toes I
> might be stepping on.

Flame away. We _are_ rocket scientists; our flame throwers are _way_
bigger than yours :).

Seriously, I doubt you can be tougher on us than we are already. There
have been official inquiries into both of these failures; the full
reports are on the web (I don't have the exact URL handy; search at or at You should read those reports
before proceeding.

To save yourself some embarrassment, it might be a good idea to run
your critique by me privately first. If need be, I can get in touch
with more knowledgeable people.

> sro
> S. Ron Oliver, semi-retired professor of Computer Science and Computer
> Engineering.
> Tired of sucky software! ?  Check out and follow the
> links to software sucks and The Oliver Academy.

-- Stephe