Schoolboy points out error in NASA data; agency invites him to help analyse mistake

March 25, 2017, 3:12 pm
Schoolboy points out error in NASA data; agency invites him to help analyse mistake
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Schoolboy points out error in NASA data; agency invites him to help analyse mistake

Schoolboy points out error in NASA data; agency invites him to help analyse mistake

A British schoolboy pointed out that there was an error in NASA data recorded on the International Space Station (ISS). The correction was said to be “appreciated” by NASA, which invited him to help analyse the problem.

Seventeen-yerar-old A-level student Miles Soloman from Tapton School in Sheffield, was reportedly working on the TimPix project — which lets school students in the Britain access data recorded by radiation detectors. The project, held during British astronaut Tim Peake's six-month stay on the ISS, helps the school children look for anomalies and patterns that might lead to further discoveries.

Soloman found that radiation sensors on the ISS were recording false data and then emailed scientists at NASA, which according to him was “pretty cool”.

Soloman and his fellow students were given Timepix measurements in a giant pile of excel spreadsheets, where they analysed the radiation levels on the ISS.

Soloman noticed that when nothing hit the detector, a negative reading was being recorded. But you cannot get negative energy. Thus, he contacted scientists at the US space agency.

It turned out that Soloman had noticed something no-one else had, including the NASA experts.

According to NASA, it was aware of the error, but believed it was only happening once or twice a year. However, Soloman had found it was actually happening multiple times a day.