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When expensive projects go up in smoke, houston can have some serious problems! If you add up all their mistakes throughout the past, you have to think to yourself, is it even worth it to have a space program? It might take some time to develop new technologies but they’re gonna come with a price and large ones at that. Even though it’s rocket science, you’d figure someone was doing their job right. From mathematical errors that cost millions, to crashes that cost billions here are the most unbelievable and expensive Nasa Mistakes.
11Delta 2 Explosion
With so many dangerous trips to space with by rockets carrying so much highly flammable rocket fuel, there’s bound to be extremely catastrophic explosions from time to time. Reaching outer space is certainly no easy task, if you think about it. The Air Force Delta 2 rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral was carrying an 81 million dollar satellite UGPS-2. This rocket soars through the sky with over 200 thousand pounds worth of thrusting power. It was approximately 1 to 2 thousand feet in the sky when suddenly, an explosion happens. The explosion creates a dangerous gas of hydrochloric fumes. Nasa prefers launching pads in isolated areas away from human settlements, close to oceans, in order to avoid any collateral damage. In this case, only cars in the parking lots and small Nasa buildings were destroyed nearby.
This case proves that even Nasa rocket scientists are capable of the simplest mistakes and it ended up costing them a whopping 125 million dollars. In 1999, a Lockheed Martin Mars orbiter was lost due to a miscommunication of which units of measurements to use. The navigation team at the Jet Propulsion laboratory used the metric system in meters and millimeters in their calculations while the people who designed the aircraft in Denver had given crucial instructional information in standard American feet and inches. This caused confusion on an astronomical level! As a result, the spacecraft was lost in space then laid in a pile of rubble on the surface of Mars. Instead of entering Mars atmosphere at a tilted angle, it entered too directly causing this spacecraft to be ripped to shreds. This goes to show how easily Nasa can lose countless hours of research and a potentially, useful spacecraft over a preventable error.
9. Mars Global Surveyor
The Mars Global Surveyor was developed by nasa’s jet propulsion laboratory and eventually launched in 1996. It’s main job was to map the entire planet everything from the ionosphere to the atmosphere and also the surface. It’s primary mission began in january of 2001 and it was in its third extended mission, when all of a sudden the spacecraft failed to respond to both messages and commands. A bizarre signal was picked up a few days later and it turned out that it was in safe mode! Trying to recontact the spacecraft failed and it was left to float around the dark abyss of outer space. The mars global surveyor mission cost 154 million dollars to develop and build plus an addition 65 million to launch! WE suppose it wasn’t a total failure since it was able to capture photos of valleys that were likely formed from liquid water but it’s still on valueable piece of space junk that we’ll never get to see again.
8. The Genesis
When looking for answers about the universe, scientists and amateur astronomists tend to look at the stars. So why not do more studies on the closest one; the sun? In August of 2001 the Genesis was supposed to help answer a few deep questions about the formation of the universe, but ended up in a pile of debris in the Utah desert like you see in this photo. So what happened here? The main reason for the Genesis Spacecraft was to collect particles of solar wind and then bring them back to Earth for extensive research. A few things they wanted to look into was the exact ratio of oxygen, nitrogen, and noble gases during various phases of the solar activity. Even though the sun is mostly made of hydrogen, Nasa wanted to know more precisely what elements make up its composition. This would further lead to the origins of the sun and the planets. So how did this important spacecraft crash? The parachutes did not properly deploy in September 2004 but they were able to uncover some tiny particles from the solar winds. Several pages have already been published. The total cost of the project though added up to roughly 200 million dollars