How Apollo 11 influenced modern computer software and hardware

On 16 July 1969, Apollo 11 began its historic journey to send man to the Moon. We look at the pioneering computer technology developed by Nasa.

The importance of Computers in getting Neil Armstrong and his colleagues to the Moon and back to Earth cannot to underestimated. But the sort of technology available to Nasa in in the early 1960s was very different from the computer that was used on Apollo 11 and the lunar lander module.

Unlike today’s consumer technology and Window applications, the computers needed a high level of reliability for a space mission. The Apollo mission used the minimal amount of code needed to  launch safely. In the 1960s, software was a relatively new world. Neil Armstrong manually landed the lunar module, which used just a couple of thousand lines of code.

 It was one small step for Neil Armstrong, but a giant leap in faith in software. Since the time of Apollo, all space probes have been over-engineered. It may take 10 to 15 years to get to a planet, but the probe is designed to last for 30 years and offers extra service life, which has been incredibly fortunate for the scientists. These systems are built simply and reliably.

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