Research NewsPlanetary Science

Flawless Hardware, Fallible Humans

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Science  01 Aug 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5326, pp. 638
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5326.638b

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The Mars Pathfinder lander and its rover Sojourner have put on flawless mechanical performances, but the software and "humanware" have proved imperfect. At first, the lander's computer suffered from a software bug; later, human errors repeatedly disrupted communications between the lander and mission operators.