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Digital Apollo

Author: David A. Mindell
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262266680
Size: 66.22 MB
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As Apollo 11's Lunar Module descended toward the moon under automatic control, a program alarm in the guidance computer's software nearly caused a mission abort. Neil Armstrong responded by switching off the automatic mode and taking direct control. He stopped monitoring the computer and began flying the spacecraft, relying on skill to land it and earning praise for a triumph of human over machine. In Digital Apollo, engineer-historian David Mindell takes this famous moment as a starting point for an exploration of the relationship between humans and computers in the Apollo program. In each of the six Apollo landings, the astronaut in command seized control from the computer and landed with his hand on the stick. Mindell recounts the story of astronauts' desire to control their spacecraft in parallel with the history of the Apollo Guidance Computer. From the early days of aviation through the birth of spaceflight, test pilots and astronauts sought to be more than "spam in a can" despite the automatic controls, digital computers, and software developed by engineers.Digital Apollo examines the design and execution of each of the six Apollo moon landings, drawing on transcripts and data telemetry from the flights, astronaut interviews, and NASA's extensive archives. Mindell's exploration of how human pilots and automated systems worked together to achieve the ultimate in flight -- a lunar landing -- traces and reframes the debate over the future of humans and automation in space. The results have implications for any venture in which human roles seem threatened by automated systems, whether it is the work at our desktops or the future of exploration.

Digital Apollo

Author: David A. Mindell
Publisher: Mit Press
ISBN: 9780262516105
Size: 52.75 MB
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As Apollo 11's Lunar Module descended toward the moon under automatic control, aprogram alarm in the guidance computer's software nearly caused a mission abort. Neil Armstrongresponded by switching off the automatic mode and taking direct control. He stopped monitoring thecomputer and began flying the spacecraft, relying on skill to land it and earning praise for atriumph of human over machine. In Digital Apollo, engineer-historian David Mindell takes this famousmoment as a starting point for an exploration of the relationship between humans and computers inthe Apollo program. In each of the six Apollo landings, the astronaut in command seized control fromthe computer and landed with his hand on the stick. Mindell recounts the story of astronauts' desireto control their spacecraft in parallel with the history of the Apollo Guidance Computer. From theearly days of aviation through the birth of spaceflight, test pilots and astronauts sought to bemore than "spam in a can" despite the automatic controls, digital computers, and softwaredeveloped by engineers. Digital Apollo examines the design and execution of each of the six Apollomoon landings, drawing on transcripts and data telemetry from the flights, astronaut interviews, andNASA's extensive archives. Mindell's exploration of how human pilots and automated systems workedtogether to achieve the ultimate in flight--a lunar landing--traces and reframes the debate over thefuture of humans and automation in space. The results have implications for any venture in whichhuman roles seem threatened by automated systems, whether it is the work at our desktops or thefuture of exploration.David A. Mindell is Dibner Professor of the History of Engineering andManufacturing, Professor of Engineering Systems, and Director of the Program in Science, Technology,and Society at MIT. He is the author of Between Human and Machine: Feedback, Control, and Computingbefore Cybernetics and War, Technology, and Experience aboard the USS Monitor.

Digital Apollo

Author: David A. Mindell
Publisher: Mit Press
ISBN:
Size: 62.96 MB
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How human pilots and automated systems worked together to achieve the ultimate in flight--the lunar landings of NASA's Apollo program.

Spacesuit

Author: Nicholas De Monchaux
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 026201520X
Size: 63.87 MB
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Chronicles the creation of the Apollo 11 spacesuits worn by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, which were designed by the women's undergarment-maker Playtex and consisted of 21 specialized layers, in a book that includes 140 cull-color illustrations.

Working On Mars

Author: William J. Clancey
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262304783
Size: 36.90 MB
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Geologists in the field climb hills and hang onto craggy outcrops; they put their fingers in sand and scratch, smell, and even taste rocks. Beginning in 2004, however, a team of geologists and other planetary scientists did field science in a dark room in Pasadena, exploring Mars from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) by means of the remotely operated Mars Exploration Rovers (MER). Clustered around monitors, living on Mars time, painstakingly plotting each movement of the rovers and their tools, sensors, and cameras, these scientists reported that they felt as if they were on Mars themselves, doing field science. The MER created a virtual experience of being on Mars. In this book, William Clancey examines how the MER has changed the nature of planetary field science. Drawing on his extensive observations of scientists in the field and at the JPL, Clancey investigates how the design of the rover mission enables field science on Mars, explaining how the scientists and rover engineers manipulate the vehicle and why the programmable tools and analytic instruments work so well for them. He shows how the scientists felt not as if they were issuing commands to a machine but rather as if they were working on the red planet, riding together in the rover on a voyage of discovery.Learn more about the book here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZQSWSZnTYs&feature=youtube_gdata

Moon Lander

Author: Thomas J. Kelly
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution
ISBN: 1588343618
Size: 38.79 MB
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Chief engineer Thomas J. Kelly gives a firsthand account of designing, building, testing, and flying the Apollo lunar module. It was, he writes, “an aerospace engineer’s dream job of the century.” Kelly’s account begins with the imaginative process of sketching solutions to a host of technical challenges with an emphasis on safety, reliability, and maintainability. He catalogs numerous test failures, including propulsion-system leaks, ascent-engine instability, stress corrosion of the aluminum alloy parts, and battery problems, as well as their fixes under the ever-present constraints of budget and schedule. He also recaptures the exhilaration of hearing Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong report that “The Eagle has landed,” and the pride of having inadvertently provided a vital “lifeboat” for the crew of the disabled Apollo 13. From the Hardcover edition.

Spaceflight

Author: Michael J. Neufeld
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262536331
Size: 74.41 MB
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A concise history of spaceflight, from military rocketry through Sputnik, Apollo, robots in space, space culture, and human spaceflight today. Spaceflight is one of the greatest human achievements of the twentieth century. The Soviets launched Sputnik, the first satellite, in 1957; less than twelve years later, the American Apollo astronauts landed on the Moon. In this volume of the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Michael Neufeld offers a concise history of spaceflight, mapping the full spectrum of activities that humans have developed in space. Neufeld explains that “the space program” should not be equated only with human spaceflight. Since the 1960s, unmanned military and commercial spacecraft have been orbiting near the Earth, and robotic deep-space explorers have sent back stunning images of faraway planets. Neufeld begins with the origins of space ideas and the discovery that rocketry could be used for spaceflight. He then discusses the Soviet-U.S. Cold War space race and reminds us that NASA resisted adding female astronauts even after the Soviets sent the first female cosmonaut into orbit. He analyzes the two rationales for the Apollo program: prestige and scientific discovery (this last something of an afterthought). He describes the internationalization and privatization of human spaceflight after the Cold War, the cultural influence of space science fiction, including Star Trek and Star Wars, space tourism for the ultra-rich, and the popular desire to go into space. Whether we become a multiplanet species, as some predict, or continue to call Earth home, this book offers a useful primer.

Our Robots Ourselves

Author: David A. Mindell
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0698157664
Size: 74.17 MB
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“[An] essential book… it is required reading as we seriously engage one of the most important debates of our time.”—Sherry Turkle, author of Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age From drones to Mars rovers—an exploration of the most innovative use of robots today and a provocative argument for the crucial role of humans in our increasingly technological future. In Our Robots, Ourselves, David Mindell offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the cutting edge of robotics today, debunking commonly held myths and exploring the rapidly changing relationships between humans and machines. Drawing on firsthand experience, extensive interviews, and the latest research from MIT and elsewhere, Mindell takes us to extreme environments—high atmosphere, deep ocean, and outer space—to reveal where the most advanced robotics already exist. In these environments, scientists use robots to discover new information about ancient civilizations, to map some of the world’s largest geological features, and even to “commute” to Mars to conduct daily experiments. But these tools of air, sea, and space also forecast the dangers, ethical quandaries, and unintended consequences of a future in which robotics and automation suffuse our everyday lives. Mindell argues that the stark lines we’ve drawn between human and not human, manual and automated, aren’t helpful for understanding our relationship with robotics. Brilliantly researched and accessibly written, Our Robots, Ourselves clarifies misconceptions about the autonomous robot, offering instead a hopeful message about what he calls “rich human presence” at the center of the technological landscape we are now creating. From the Hardcover edition.

The Apollo Guidance Computer

Author: Frank O'Brien
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1441908773
Size: 28.43 MB
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The technological marvel that facilitated the Apollo missions to the Moon was the on-board computer. In the 1960s most computers filled an entire room, but the spacecraft’s computer was required to be compact and low power. Although people today find it difficult to accept that it was possible to control a spacecraft using such a ‘primitive’ computer, it nevertheless had capabilities that are advanced even by today’s standards. This is the first book to fully describe the Apollo guidance computer’s architecture, instruction format and programs used by the astronauts. As a comprehensive account, it will span the disciplines of computer science, electrical and aerospace engineering. However, it will also be accessible to the ‘space enthusiast’. In short, the intention is for this to be the definitive account of the Apollo guidance computer. Frank O’Brien’s interest in the Apollo program began as a serious amateur historian. About 12 years ago, he began performing research and writing essays for the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal, and the Apollo Flight Journal. Much of this work centered on his primary interests, the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) and the Lunar Module. These Journals are generally considered the canonical online reference on the flights to the Moon. He was then asked to assist the curatorial staff in the creation of the Cradle of Aviation Museum, on Long Island, New York, where he helped prepare the Lunar Module simulator, a LM procedure trainer and an Apollo space suit for display. He regularly lectures on the Apollo computer and related topics to diverse groups, from NASA's computer engineering conferences, the IEEE/ACM, computer festivals and university student groups.

Computer

Author: Martin Campbell-Kelly
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0429975007
Size: 79.69 MB
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Computer: A History of the Information Machine traces the history of the computer and shows how business and government were the first to explore its unlimited, information-processing potential. Old-fashioned entrepreneurship combined with scientific know-how inspired now famous computer engineers to create the technology that became IBM. Wartime needs drove the giant ENIAC, the first fully electronic computer. Later, the PC enabled modes of computing that liberated people from room-sized, mainframe computers.This third edition provides updated analysis on software and computer networking, including new material on the programming profession, social networking, and mobile computing. It expands its focus on the IT industry with fresh discussion on the rise of Google and Facebook as well as how powerful applications are changing the way we work, consume, learn, and socialize. Computer is an insightful look at the pace of technological advancement and the seamless way computers are integrated into the modern world. Through comprehensive history and accessible writing, Computer is perfect for courses on computer history, technology history, and information and society, as well as a range of courses in the fields of computer science, communications, sociology, and management.