[Video 354] Brian Troutwine: The Charming Genius of the Apollo Guidance Computer

The Apollo space program, which resulted in the United States putting astronauts on the moon, was challenging in a number of ways. Among them was the fact that they needed to design, build, and implement a computer that would fit into a spacecraft, and would control the flight operations of that spacecraft. The result, the first fly-by-wire system in the world, was surprisingly elegant and clever, and is interesting for modern software engineers. In this talk, Brian Troutwine introduces us to the Apollo guidance system, describing its specifications and engineering challenges in ways that modern software engineers can understand and appreciate. If you have ever complained about the extreme constraints placed on your work, you’ll be impressed by the ways in which these engineers created a computer, programmed it, tested it, and ultimately led to the moon landing.

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