Quick: What does the United States, Liberia and Myanmar have in common? These countries do not use the metric system. True fact! The U.S. uses the “customary system”, which was developed from English units, used in the British Empire. Until the mid 1800s, the units of measurements of the UK and the US were virtually the same. But as of today, the UK uses metric system, like 99% of the world.
Consider this: Back in 1999, NASA lost a $125 million Mars orbiter because one engineering team used metric units while another used the “customary units” (e.g., inches, feet and pounds) for a key spacecraft operation. (source: NASA REPORT ) Continue reading