from the all-the-king's-horses-and-all-the-king's-men dept.
cradle writes "On September 6th, the $239 Million Dollar NOAA N-Prime Satellite toppled over and crashed to the floor of Lockheed Martin Space Systems' factory in Sunnyvale, CA, as it was being repositioned to replace an instrument. Today NASA released their report on the cause of the accident. It seems somebody forgot to check whether it was bolted down: '... during an operation that required repositioning (rotating) the
TIROS NOAA N-PRIME spacecraft from a vertical to a horizontal position, the spacecraft
slipped from the Turn-Over Cart (TOC) and fell to the floor. The spacecraft fell because the
TIROS adapter plate to which it was mounted was not bolted to the TOC adapter plate with the
required 24 bolts. The bolts were removed from the TOC by another project while the cart was
in a common staging area, an activity which was not communicated to the NOAA project team.'"
"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all
other causes combined."
-- Fred Brooks, Jr., _The Mythical Man Month_