Significant whitespace

David Robinow drobinow at
Mon Jan 4 05:42:44 CET 2010

On Sun, Jan 3, 2010 at 10:42 PM, Roy Smith <roy at> wrote:
> In article <mailman.386.1262576043.28905.python-list at>,
>  David Robinow <drobinow at> wrote:
>> On Sun, Jan 3, 2010 at 8:09 PM, Tim Roberts <timr at> wrote:
>> > More than "not required", it was "not relevant".  This led to one of the
>> > most infamous programming blunders in the early days of the space program,
>> > when one programmer accidentially typed a period instead of a comma
>> > resulting in the loss of a satellite:
>> Interesting story. Did you make it up?
> It's a fairly well known story.
 Sure. But the question is, "Who made it up?"

Computer folklore has incorrectly attributed the loss of the Mariner 1
space probe to a syntax error in a Fortran program. For example,
"Recall the first American space probe to Venus, reportedly lost
because Fortran cannot recognize a missing comma in a DO statement…"[

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