Enter the maze

NASA Mariner 1, Venus probe, 1962

Building software for space flight starts with developing the mathematical formulas that are needed in the system. Unfortunately, one of the formulas for NASA's Mariner 1, written on paper was not correctly transferred to the computer code. A full stop had been used instead of a comma: a simple grammatical error, but lethal in a computer language.

A case of really bad grammar.

The flight software miscalculated the rocket's trajectory and so caused the rocket to lose control. The rocket had to be self destructed over the Atlantic Ocean.

The moral: attention to detail is vital in writing software