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Apollo 11 in Real Time

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Moon landing

     
5:38 pm on Jun 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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If, as I, you found D-Day via real time decrypted Enigma messages [webmasterworld.com] fascinating...

How about Apollo 11: A real-time journey through the first landing on the Moon? [apolloinrealtime.org]


Introduction

This website replays the Apollo 11 mission as it happened, 50 years ago. It consists entirely of historical material, all timed to Ground Elapsed Time--the master mission clock. Footage of Mission Control, film shot by the astronauts, and television broadcasts transmitted from space and the surface of the Moon, have been painstakingly placed to the very moments they were shot during the mission, as has every photograph taken, and every word spoken.

Interface

Upon starting the application, select whether to begin one minute before launch, or click "Now" to drop in exactly 50 years ago, to-the-second during the anniversary.

Navigate to any moment of the mission using the time navigator at the top of the screen. The top bar is the entire mission with two bars below it providing magnification. Selecting transcript items, photos, commentary items, or guided tour moments, also jumps the mission time to the moment they occurred.

Main mission audio consists of space-to-ground (left ear), capcom loop (right ear), and on-board recorder (center, when available). Selecting a Mission Control audio channel mutes the main audio, opens the Mission Control audio panel, and plays the "live" audio of that Mission Control position. Change channels by selecting the seats in mission control. Closing the Mission Control audio panel will unmute the main audio and continue mission playback.

These 50 channels of Mission Control audio have only recently been digitized and restored, and are made publicly available here for the first time. They total over 11,000 hours in length.
12:36 am on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Thanks, iamlost... That is fantastic!

I was initially so transfixed by the lift-off sequence that I haven't played with the timeline very much. Am listening through some editing-quality desktop speakers, and the audio and the "stereo" separation are spectacular.

Am now beginning to see the layers of commentary in the flight journal, and also that I can go back prior to launch, pre the one-minute mark, to hours before lift-off.

What an amazing bit of documentation! I had better go for a walk and get away from this hypnotic machine for a while. Wow!

11:34 am on June 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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What wonderful resources, thank you for finding them.
10:13 pm on July 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Because of the timing and the 50th anniversary, I'm kicking this thread up.

With all the documentary material unearthed (so to speak), along with the subsequent interviews, it's becoming all the more apparent what an amazing achievement the moon landing was.

2:46 am on July 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Very cool.

Many of today's millenial generation just don't appreciate past achievements like that and, sadly, I don't think a de-industrialized America could pull it off vs countries where the manufacturing has moved to anymore. It's possible they never experience a great National achievement of the same technological magnitude, or the pride and unifying forces that go with it.

The very least those who lived through such things can do is ensure it can be learned about. Thanks for the link.
5:23 am on July 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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To add to nostalgia and fun, following are links to complete original source code for the Apollo 11 Guidance Computer (AGC): Comanche055 [github.com] command module and Luminary099 [github.com]lunar module.
Note: in 2003, Ron Burkey manually transcribed the code from images MIT uploaded to the net after Gary Neff, an airline pilot, scanned them. This month, 07-July-2019, Chris Garry (former NASA intern) uploaded them to GitHub.

Note: forget the code, the fun is in the comments.
Note: My favourite is this heartfelt name: BURN_BABY_BURN--MASTER_IGNITION_ROUTINE.agc

Note: folks who comment/document as OCD as me!

Note: you are probably familiar with the picture of Margaret Hamilton [news.mit.edu] standing with the printed code as tall as herself

Note: the ROM used in Apollo was actually woven into what was termed core rope memory [en.wikipedia.org].

Mandatory mentions:
* Margaret Heafield Hamilton, Director of the Software Engineering Division of the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, lead Apollo flight software designer. And, later Skylab.
---originated the term 'software engineering'.

The space mission software had to be man-rated. Not only did it have to work, it had to work the first time. Not only did the software itself have to be ultra-reliable, it needed to be able to perform error detection and recovery in real time. Our languages dared us to make the most subtle of errors. We were on our own to come up with rules for building software. What we learned from the errors was full of surprises.

All while a single mother.

Recently Google manipulated the 100,000+ mirrors - covering 1.4 square miles - of the Ivanpah Solar Facility in the Mojave Desert to make her portrait and the Eagle lander in reflected moonlight.
Margaret Hamilton by Moonlight: Honoring an Apollo 11 Icon [youtube.com]

* Saydean Zeldin, section head Apollo spacecraft engines.
Image of Zadin (l) and Hamilton (r) [commons.wikimedia.org]

Note: Hamilton and Zeldin teamed up after NASA to found Higher Order Software, a software development company.
A list of publications from their partnership and after:
* Margaret Hamilton [dblp.uni-trier.de]
* Margaret H. Hamilton [dblp.uni-trier.de]
* Saydean Zeldin [dblp.uni-trier.de]

Note: we truly need more women in STEM. When you look at that pile of code Margaret is standing by...that is code written primarily by women. Then the code was woven into ROM by women. Women got those men to the moon. And home again.
5:42 am on July 21, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Women got those men to the moon. And home again.
The recent PBS documentary on the Apollo missions featured assorted interviews with Poppy Northcutt. That is, interviews with her today, but also cheesy mid-60s-vintage interviews where they kept asking if the presence of an attractive blonde in a miniskirt isn't a distraction to her coworkers. I was a bit disappointed that Young Poppy didn't think to reply huffily that the question is an insult because her coworkers are all highly trained, educated professionals, and if they're distracted by a miniskirt they have no business being there.

My primary association with the name “Margaret Hamilton” is that other M. Hamilton who featured in an adorable Mister Rogers episode showing how she got into her Wicked Witch makeup, making it impossible for any child ever again to be frightened of her.
11:28 am on July 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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And we must not forget Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson.