Lesson 2.6. Ariane flight 501

The inaugural flight of the Ariane 5 rocket took place on June 4, 1996 :

Everything was based on a single small variable: the one allocated to the horizontal acceleration. Indeed, the maximum horizontal acceleration produced by Ariane 4 gave a decimal value of approximately 64 and was memorized in a register with 8 bits. But Ariane 5 was much more powerful and brutal: its acceleration could reach the value 300. The register of 8 bits had been preserved from Ariane 4 to Ariane 5. As soon as the acceleration exceeded 255, its value returned to 0. By domino effect, the software decided to activate the self-destruction of the rocket.

Do not neglect the choice of your variable types.

See also

Last update : 10/23/2022