THE DIRE CONSEQUENCES OF SOFTWARE BUGS: MISFIRED ROCKET

Ariane-5Software bugs can even cause rockets to veer off course. The 1996 launch of the Ariane 5 rocket was set to deliver satellites into the Earth’s orbit. However, the launch veered off path 37 seconds after launch. As it started disintegrating, it self-destructed (which was a built-in security precaution). The problem? Code reuse from the predecessor, Ariane 4, which had different flight conditions from Ariane 5. More than $370 million was lost due to this error.

Maybe they should have been unit testing.

What are some consequences of bugs that you’ve seen either in the news or in your own past experience?

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