Obscura Day 2017! Join our global celebration of exploration and discovery.
May 6

Teen Corrects NASA Error

The International Space Station was showing an anomaly.

You guys better check your data.
You guys better check your data. kowh/CC BY 2.0

Forget space camp, one U.K. teenager found and corrected a data error on the International Space Station in his free time.

According to the BBC, 17-year-old Sheffield student Miles Soloman, taking part in a project with the Institute for Research in Schools, was looking over a spreadsheet of the radiation data recorded on the space station when he noticed something funny. Down at the lowest levels of the readings, a negative amount of radiation was recorded. Since detecting a negative amount of energy isn’t a thing, Soloman knew something was up.

He contacted NASA with his findings, and they said that while his discovery was appreciated, it was already a known issue. However, scientists thought that the anomaly was only occurring once every few years, but Soloman’s information indicated that the discrepancy was occurring multiple times a day.

His discovery might not have been Earth-shattering, but detecting these kinds of anomalies is just one small, but essential, part of keeping us in space.