Tuesday May 03, 2016

Software Update Destroys $286M Japanese Satellite

I'm sure that, at some point in our lives, we've all bricked something. Maybe a BIOS update that toasted a motherboard, processor, memory, maybe a video video card, you name it. With that said, I don't think all the hardware we have collectively fried even comes close to borking a $286 million satellite update. Somebody is getting fired. eek!

The Japanese X-ray telescope Hitomi has been declared lost after it disintegrated in orbit, torn apart when spinning out of control. The cause is still under investigation but early analysis points to bad data in a software package pushed shortly after an instrument probe was extended from the rear of the satellite. JAXA, the Japanese space agency, lost $286 million, three years of planned observations, and a possible additional 10 years of science research.