Problem 171SE

An AP news service story, printed in the Gainesville Sun on May 20, 1979, states the following with regard to debris from Skylab striking someone on the ground: “The odds are 1 in 150 that a piece of Skylab will hit someone. But 4 billion people . . . live in the zone in which pieces could fall. So any one person’s chances of being struck are one in 150 times 4 billion—or one in 600 billion.” Do you see any inaccuracies in this reasoning?

Solution :

Step 1 of 1:

Given that the odds are 1 in 150 that a piece of Skylab will hit someone.

Then any one person’s chance of being struck are one in 150 times 4 billion or one in 600 billion.

From the given information we found that the probability that Skylab will hit someone is without regard to where that person lives.

Suppose one person wants to know the probability condition of living in a certain area.

Therefore, this is not possible to determine with the given information.