Awesome answer from the Chief Engineer on the Dawn mission.

Does JPL only use 3.14 for its pi calculations? Or do you use more decimals like say [361 significant figure representation of pi]…

To start, let me answer your question directly. For JPL’s highest accuracy calculations, which are for interplanetary navigation, we use 3.141592653589793. Let’s look at this a little more closely to understand why we don’t use more decimal places. I think we can even see that there are no physically realistic calculations scientists ever perform for which it is necessary to include nearly as many decimal points as you present.