Exercise Strict Controls in the Packaging and Oversight of Critical Hardware Shipped by Third-Party Courier Services

When Mars Phoenix spaceflight hardware was transported from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory using a third-party (independent) courier service, it was discovered at the destination that the shock sensors mounted to the hardware were all tripped. The design of packaging for shipment should be reviewed and pre-approved, a packaging inspection report prepared at the source and destination site, and a project Critical Hardware Handling Plan address how critical items are to be shipped.

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