answered on 19 Nov 2020:
last edited 19 Nov 2020 12:11 pm
Yes – this happens quite a lot. Things go wrong and you have to learn to not get too upset when they do. The biggest project to go wrong was the seismometer we helped build to go to Mars. Someone made a calculation error and accidentally imploded the seismometer we were building. We had to start building the whole seismometer instrument again – we missed our launch window and the mission had to be delayed by 2 years. However, it worked out OK – the mission landed on Mars and detected the first Marsquake (like an Earthquake but on Mars!). You can hear the Marsquake here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLBP-5KoSCc&feature=emb_logo
Another quite funny mistake (although at the time it wasn’t funny), was a college of mine went into the ceiling to have a look at putting a chimney into our cleanroom. They wanted to use a nasty gas for an experiment and so would need to put a chimney into the cleanroom to remove the gas safely. However, they must have accidentally hit a supporting beam in the ceiling when they were up there because the next day the whole ceiling had fallen in!