A Google search for “the great Kersten Blunder” turns up many results, such as this one. The claim is that a programmer named Kersten screwed up a measurement conversion factor, causing the $2B “Vigor space probe” to miss Venus and become lost in space.
The problem is that I can’t find any mention of a “Vigor space probe” that identifies who launched it or what its mission was.
So what’s the deal? Was there actually a “space probe” named Vigor, targeted at the planet Venus, that was lost due to a faulty measurement conversion factor in the software?