michael from the tales-of-giant-sky-ships-in-the-Southlands dept.
colonist writes "35 years ago, on July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 began to achieve the goal set by the late President Kennedy: '...before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth'. On July 20, Michael Collins orbited the moon in the command module Columbia while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the lunar surface in the lunar module Eagle. The descent engine was halfway through its final 12-minute burn when a yellow caution light lit up on the display of the lunar module computer. [ARMSTRONG: Program Alarm... It's a 1202. ALDRIN: 1202. (Pause) ARMSTRONG: (To Buzz) What is it? Let's incorporate (the landing radar data). (To Houston) Give us a reading on the 1202 Program Alarm.] Buzz Aldrin's recollection: 'Back in Houston, not to mention on board the Eagle, hearts shot up into throats while we waited to learn what would happen. We had received two of the caution lights when Steve Bales the flight controller responsible for LM computer activity, told us to proceed... We received three or four more warnings but kept on going. When Mike, Neil, and I were presented with Medals of Freedom by President Nixon, Steve also received one. He certainly deserved it, because without him we might not have landed.' Fred Martin describes the incidents, and Peter Adler looks at the design of the system."
"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not
there if you want to keep writing good code." -- Karl Lehenbauer