The source code for the Apollo 11 mission is now available for free on GitHub. The document is not only extremely valuable because of its high efficiency despite its simplicity, but also because the programmers had some fun while writing the code and inserted some jokes in the lines.
Apart from its impressive size, the source code for the Apollo 11 mission surprises through the abundance of jokes that the team inserted into it.
Thanks to Ron Burkey, a NASA tech researcher, the code for the command and lunar modules has been available in the online environment ever since 2003. Burkey took the time to transcribe each code line manually after analyzing the original transcripts.
Now, the full version of the code is available on GitHub. The man responsible for this tech and American history treat is Chris Garry, a NASA intern who on July 7th uploaded the files. This action prompted space and coding enthusiasts to peruse the famous source code for the Apollo 11 mission.
The code was written in a slightly obscure and NASA tweaked programming language called Assembly. There were only a handful of individuals on the entire planet that were capable of mastering the language. Among them, Margaret Hamilton, the software engineering chief and the woman who made history at NASA.
The math remains relevant even after 60 years. And the jokes are still funny. Luckily, not all of the little anecdotes are designed for the eyes of the programmers. For example, one of the files was named BURN_BABY_BURN-MASTER_IGNITION_ROUTINE.s, and it contains a couple of references and handy notes for the engine routine.
Another funny file name is PINBALL_GAME_BUTTONS_AND_LIGHTS.s. This particular file contains instructions for the keyboard and display system controls.
Some space aficionados are already sending suggestions to the space agency for future comic file names. Among the public’s favorite is MATTDAMON.s or SAVE_MATT_DAMON.s. Both refer to the actor’s tendency to remain stranded in a remote place and await salvation.
NASA’s technological evolution can be accurately analyzed from the code used for the AGC. The processor for which the code was written had the power of an electronic calculator. And it was used to control both the lunar and command modules.
The code can be accessed for free on GitHub.
Image source: Wikipedia
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