14 June 2006

Whaddaya Mean by Backwards?

About 20 years ago, I got a quickie brake job by a fella who was a glorified shadetree mechaninc; glorified because he actually gave you a recipet for the work he did. Turns out he put the rear drum-brake adjusters in the wrong sides of my Mustang; left one on the right side, right one on the left side. Sure it was dang hard to stop, but as a fledgling motor vehicle master, I didn't crash into anything. The shop he lorded over no longer fixes cars, and I always wondered what happened to that muttonhead . . . until today.
According to a report released by the board today, the root cause of the crash was an error in the craft’s original design. In their design of the probe, subcontractor Lockheed Martin inverted the two accelerometers that were supposed to trigger parachute deployment. “They installed [the sensors] the way the designs said,” Genesis project manager Donald Sweetnam says. “But they were backwards.” Investigators had suspected that this was the cause since as early as October, 2004.

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