A British schoolboy has discovered that a piece of Nasa's top space research is flawed.
Miles Soloman, a student at Tapton School in Sheffield, was taking part in a project run by the Institute for Research in Schools. He told the World At One how he discovered that equipment used by the International Space Station was recording false data. (emphasis added)
A further BBC article and interview can be found here. From that article:
During UK astronaut Tim Peake's stay on the station, detectors began recording the radiation levels on the ISS.
"I went straight to the bottom of the list and I went for the lowest bits of energy there were," Miles explained. Miles's teacher and head of physics, James O'Neill, said: "We were all discussing the data but he just suddenly perked up in one of the sessions and went 'why does it say there's -1 energy here?'"
What Miles had noticed was that when nothing hit the detector, a negative reading was being recorded. But you cannot get negative energy. So Miles and Mr O'Neill contacted Nasa. "It's pretty cool", Miles said. "You can tell your friends, I just emailed Nasa and they're looking at the graphs that I've made."
It turned out that Miles had noticed something no-one else had - including the Nasa experts. Nasa said it was aware of the error, but believed it was only happening once or twice a year. Miles had found it was actually happening multiple times a day.
Prof Larry Pinksy, from the University of Houston, told Radio 4: "My colleagues at Nasa thought they had cleaned that up.
Precisely what NASA top space research "is flawed" because it is recording "false data"? What data stream are we talking about, and is the problem catastrophic, or just LSB noise (least significant bit).