The importance of testing….

The Apollo 11 mission which landed on the moon was nearly aborted as the lander entered into its final approach. During this critical phase links between computer systems failed several times meaning that Mission Control had no data from the landing module as it approached the moon. At one point, an error code was displayed on the screens in Mission Control – error 1202. A search found that the fault was due to the computer becoming overloaded – something that had never been tested for as it was believed that it could never happen. It seems a far cry from the modern simulators where astronauts are put through their paces with a variety of scenarios to prepare them for the reality of launch. OK, technology has moved on substantially since Apollo 11 but if they had tested everything then they might have had a less stressful time getting the Eagle to land!

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