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Humankind’s curiosity to explore the unknown will never cease to exist. As time passes, we have made multiple attempts to reach out to where we have never been. This has sometimes been successful, however some projects have finished as expensive failures. One project in particular demonstrates how unethical behavior, such as communication, between project team members can cause irreversible consequences.

MCO

The Mars Climate Orbiter

Communication and training within project will had been consistantthumb|NaNxNaNpx|The Mars Climate Orbiter|link=http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/profile.cfm?MCode=MCO  

In 1999, almost a year after its launch, the Mars Climate Orbiter fails instantly upon atmospheric entrance on the red planet. After questioning team members, the problem had been identified: Unit conversion between Newton and pound-force was not identified during implementation.  The software was written to incorporate newton measurement units, however the controls that were sent to the orbiter were sent in pound-force. The improper coordination between these units, and the fact that no conversion mathematics were created in the software, caused the orbiter to crash upon entrance of the Martian atmosphere as the pressure needed for project sustainability was not properly calculated using correct measurement units.

This raises concerns of communication between team members working on this project.  Ethically, engineers should keep constant communication and give proper project updates in order to ensure that precautions are being made for every circumstance possible. This planning had clearly not been prioritized within the team and a problem resulting in the loss of a $328 million project with no results. 

These problems should never occur if proper planning and communication between supervisors has been coordinated. Although communication is not seen as a priority in some situations, engineers owe the courtesy of maintaining proper interaction at all times with project peers.


ReferenceEdit

http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/profile.cfm?MCode=MCO

http://chemwiki.ucdavis.edu/Analytical_Chemistry/Quantifying_Nature/Case_Studies%3A_Metric %2F%2FEnglish_Conversion_Error





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