Thursday, July 16, 2009
40 Years Ago
July 1969... I was approaching my 14th birthday, begging to be allowed to stay up late to watch the black-and-white television coverage of Apollo 11. A man on the moon! The ultimate fantasy. Didn't have a clue that my future hubby was there, in the middle of all the excitement, hard at work at NASA in Florida: a "Ground Support Communications Supervisor" during the Apollo missions. That's him on the left in this official NASA picture (from his personal collection). Here are a couple of articles about those computers...
Apollo 11: The Computers That Put Man on the Moon
The Lunar Module Computer
And here is an interesting article that describes "LOL memory" -- rope core memory that was literally assembled by "Little Old Ladies." In a factory outside Boston, they would "weave" the software instructions by threading slender copper wires through and around tiny magnetic cores. Fascinating: Weaving the Way to the Moon
In contrast, my MP3 player today has a tiny micro SD memory card that holds 8 GB of data just for entertainment - music, photos, radio, audio books... Imagine taking off for the moon with less technology than is in the cell phone in your pocket today, by a factor of thousands!
For a detailed list of NASA events that celebrate the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/apollo40th