Electrical discharge machining.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has survived an "in your face" flyby of Saturnian moon Enceladus designed to collect data on geysers spewing water vapour and other matter from giant fractures at the body's south pole. Cassini on Wednesday skirted the geysers' plumes at a tad over 51,000km/h (32,000mph) at a height of 200km (120 …
Enceladus must have life. Why else would the probe fail at the crucial point? Remember it was built by the guys that still haven't found life on the home world of one of El Reg's most cherished posters.
@amanfromMars: Can't you just put a sign up or something, so they know where to look?
"During the flyby, the instrument was switching between two versions of software programs. The new version was designed to increase the ability to count particle hits by several hundred hits per second."
You can imagine the scene... The operator prepares the new program, ever so carefully... waiting for the right moment, the countdown clock reaches zero... just as the operator hits enter, a prompt appears, grabbing the focus:
"Updating you computer is almost complete. You must reboot your computer for the updates to take effect.
Do you want to reboot now?"
Mine's the one covered in space dust...