# Thread: Ok - Everybody else go awwwww

1. The novels I've read about engineers talk about "on in ten-thou" and the like as acceptable tolerances.
http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/06/m..._messenger.html - Image #9 - says that MESSENGER flew within 200 Km of the surface of Mercury.

An error of 200 KM would have been disastrous.

My atlases say that Mercury is 57,600,000 KM from the sun, and that Earth is 148,640,000 Km from the sun.
The minimum distance between the two (same side of the sun) is therefore 148,640,000 MINUS 57,600,000, while the maximum distance between the two )opposite sides of the sun) is therefore 148,640,000 PLUS 57,600,000.

The tolerance is therefore 200/91,040,000 or 200/206,240,000.
Which, if I've done my sums right, is about 1 in 50,000 or 1 in 10,000,000.

Which beats the "one in ten thou" of any of MY heroes with their Vernier calipers .....

2. [quote name='chrisgreaves' post='778937' date='09-Jun-2009 10:43']Which, if I've done my sums right, is about 1 in 50,000 or 1 in 10,000,000.[/quote]
You're only a factor 10 off...

3. [quote name='HansV' post='778938' date='09-Jun-2009 05:51']You're only a factor 10 off... [/quote]
OK.
So I'm a software engineer.
1 in 500,000?
1 in 1,030,000?

4. [quote name='chrisgreaves' post='778945' date='09-Jun-2009 11:24']OK.
So I'm a software engineer.[/quote]
... writing code so that the computer keeps the space probe at the correct distance?

5. [quote name='Argus' post='778947' date='09-Jun-2009 06:35']... writing code so that the computer keeps the space probe at the correct distance? [/quote]
OK.
So it was supposed to skim within 2,000 KM of Venus.
Within 200KM of mercury seems better, to me ......

6. [quote name='Argus' post='778947' date='09-Jun-2009 05:35']... writing code so that the computer keeps the space probe at the correct distance? [/quote]
Always thought software engineers worked on a 1 in 3 error rate?

7. [quote name='viking33' post='779012' date='09-Jun-2009 14:37'] Always thought software engineers worked on a 1 in 3 error rate? [/quote]

More likely "Suck it and see".

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