From way back in 1996:
It took the European Space Agency 10 years and $7 billion to produce Ariane 5, a giant rocket capable of hurling a pair of three-ton satellites into orbit with each launch and intended to give Europe overwhelming supremacy in the commercial space business.
All it took to explode that rocket less than a minute into its maiden voyage last June, scattering fiery rubble across the mangrove swamps of French Guiana, was a small computer program trying to stuff a 64-bit number into a 16-bit space.
One bug, one crash. Of all the careless lines of code recorded in the annals of computer science, this one may stand as the most devastatingly efficient.
A fascinating, and from a programmer’s perspective chilling, read. This is the stuff of nightmares — an apparently innocuous line of code causing an exception that leads to disaster!