"Dude! Are you trying to kill us? Why are
you driving so fast?" one of us screamed!
Carl, the driver replied, "Man, I am only trying to do that speed limit."
"Speed limit, you're WAY OVER the speed limit!" someone shouted.
"What do you mean over the speed limit, that sign back there said 95," Carl replied.
"You idiot! That sign was 95 kilometers per hour, not 95 miles per hour," all of us ruthlessly yelled.
Carl thought that 95 km/h was Spanish for 95 mph! He didn't know his dimensional analysis!
"The 'root cause' of the loss of the
was the failed translation of English units into metric units in a
of ground based, navigation related mission software, as NASA has
announced," said Arthur Stephenson, chairman of the Mars Climate
Mission Failure Investigation Board.
"NASA lost two
to Mars in 1999, which included an orbiter that burned up in the
atmosphere because of a mix-up of English and metric propellant
In a preliminary report, JPL said
spacecraft's builder, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, submitted
data in English units of pounds of force instead of the metric unit
Newton's. At JPL, the numbers were entered into a computer that assumed
Below are listed charts and worksheets for the dimensional analysis unit. All of these notes have been converted to Adobe's PDF. If you don't already have Adobe's Acrobat reader, click on the icon below to download and install it, it's free.