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The most embarrrassing loss was the Mars Climate Orbiter mission in 1999, which went awry because of a mix-up involving metric and imperial measurement units.
In 1999, NASA's Mars Climate Orbiter was lost because of an engineering mix-up between English and metric units of measurement.
In September that year, Mars Climate Orbiter crashed on to the planet due to an embarrassing navigational error caused by mixing up imperial and metric units.
The Mars Climate Orbiter is a different example of the havoc interference can wreak.
In 1995, the billion-dollar Mars Orbiter mysteriously exploded as it prepared to land and in 1999 the Mars Climate Orbiter and the Mars Polar Lander both disappeared.
``People might think that this somehow might be connected to the Mars failures, but it has no connection at all,'' Baltimore said, alluding to the failed Mars Climate Orbiter and Mars Polar Lander missions.
In September 1999, the Mars Climate Orbiter ended up in pieces around Mars or smashed on the planet because engineers mixed up English and metric units of measurement.
Two reports examining NASA's Mars program have blamed the 1999 failures of the Mars Climate Orbiter and the Mars Polar Lander on management problems and a lack of funding that are byproducts of the faster, better, cheaper philosophy.