Jul 23, 2017

# Metric Mishap Discussion

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# Metric Mishap Discussion

INSTRUCTIONS:

I need you to read these two discussions and provide substantial comments about each one into a paragraph or two. Tell what you may agree with or disagree like or dislike, and so forth. Please keep them separate.

Discussion 1:

Whether it would be different currencies, different time zones, or different measurements - most countries differ in the way they comprehend information.  America is known for not using the "Metric System" when measuring simple things such as weight, height, distance, etc - rather the Imperial System.  This could become quite confusing for people, especially when traveling or speaking with foreigners.   I could say based on personal experience - you could be trying to explain to your Polish buddy that you`re 6 feet tall, but a miscommunication would occur.  Like most European countries, Poland uses the Metric System.  This individual would not understand that 6 feet would equal to ~182 centimeters.
Now, this analogy explains clearly the importance of a universal standard in measurements.  In the article provided, written by Robin Lloyd in 1999 - it was stated that the Lockheed Martin engineering team used English units of measurements, while the agency`s team used a more complex form of the metric system for a key spacecraft operation.  This therefor resulted in the loss of a \$125 Million USD Mars orbiter.
Now that being said, it should be very obvious that each team should be using the same forms of measurements when collaborating with one another to avoid such tragedy in the future.

A universal standard in measurements offers consistency, and results in a better understanding between each team working on a project.

Discussion 2:

No matter what scientific discipline someone is involved in or where they are from, sharing reliable quantitative data is key.  Using universal units means that, no matter where the scientist is or originates from, data will all be in the same language and will reduce misinterpretation. America is already known for being the only industrialized country that does not explicitly use the metric system.  As a high school science teacher, I have seen the confusion and miscalculations this has caused my students. This is mostly due to students needing to convert units, which usually causes with an influx of human error.

As we can see from the article the loss of the Mars Climate Orbiter was due to Lockheed Martin’s engineering team using English units instead of metric for a key component of the spacecraft’s system, thus resulting in the loss of the space craft.  This occurred even though NASA has been using the metric system since 1990(Lloyd, 1999).  The loss of the multimillion dollar project show just how important using universal units are.  These universal units allow scientists consistency and communication between team members and other members of the scientific community that can be easily understood.

CONTENT:
Metric MishapName:Institution:Date:Discussion 1The discussion provides a good introduction that indicates the existence of differences in understanding information that originates from differences in origins in this case its countries. After this introduction, the discussion now brings in the real point of contention (differences in measurement standard) hence allows a flow of ideas and thought. The analogy used is perfect as it helps simplify the argument being presented and illustrates the importance of having a standard form of measurement. However, from the analogy the individual seems to understand that Poles do not use the metric system, therefore, it defies logic why the individual would still go ahead and try to explain him/herself using metric terms while he/she could simply use Imperial system....

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