When programmers at the MIT Instrumentation laboratory set out to develop the flight software for the Apollo 11 space program in the mid-1960s, the necessary technology did not exist. They had to invent it. It took programmers thousands of lines of code to send a human to Moon, and now you can access these code that sends human to the moon as it just came online.
Programmers at the MIT came up with a new way to store computer programs, called “rope memory,” and created a special version of the assembly programming language. Even for today’s programmers, assembly is difficult to understand because it is made for computers and not for humans.
These programmers from MIT wrote the code that send human on moon for the “Apollo Guidance Computer”.
In the image above is Margaret Hamilton, the project’s director of software engineering, standing next to the stack of papers containing the code that send human on moon. A moment of surprise for you all that she wrote all these codes by herself single-handedly.
The AGC code that send human to moon has been available to the public for quite a while–it was first uploaded by tech researcher Ron Burkey in 2003 after he’d transcribed it from scanned images of the original hard copies MIT had put online. That is, he manually typed out each line, one by one.
“It was scanned by an airplane pilot named Gary Neff in Colorado,” Burkey said in an email. “MIT got hold of the scans and put them online in the form of page images, which unfortunately had been mutilated in the process to the point of being unreadable in places.”
The images MIT uploaded were a bit distorted in some parts and Burkey had to use some of his engineering skills to reconstruct the unreadable parts. Later on, he was able to obtain a readable version from Gary Neff, the person who provided the scanned images. Fortunately, the parts he filled in were 100% correct.
Here is the code that send human to moon.
Watch the video for AGC simulation:
featured image source: www.qz.com