The Trouble with Telstar
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In practice, out in space, the switching operation simply hadn't worked. After about a hundred hours of use in Telstar One, it failed. Unfortunately, this had not been discovered until the first six satellites had been launched. Further launchings were postponed while they ran accelerated switching tests on satellites Two through Six out in space. The same kind of failure took place on each bird. There were two schools of thought on licking the bug. Doc Stone, of course, insisted that solenoid M1537 had failed, which was one possible interpretation of the telemetry. And Paul Cleary, who had been in charge of design, insisted that faulty assembly was to blame. Well, somebody would make up his mind pretty soon, and my evidence would have a lot to do with it. I had done the appraisal tests of the circuit in the test lab once the bug had been detected, and now Cleary was going to smoke it out of me.