It was 40 years ago today that Apollo 11 astronauts stepped unto the moon’s surface.
Was it done by computers? Not exactly. Apollo 11 had about 74 kilobytes of data storage and 4 kilobytes of volatile memory — about the same as today’s washing machine and far less than your laptop computer. Supposedly. when Neal Armstrong saw that the lunar lander was about to set down on a point, he took control and with a joystick guided the lander to a landing on a smoother surface. They had about 30 seconds of fuel in reserve. That’s how close to the edge this mission was.
NASA can’t find the original videotapes of the historic Apollo 11 moon mission. They were apparently taped over(!) decades ago when NASA needed fresh tape to store data. (. . . and we’re supposed to turn over our health care to these people???) The tape story: http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-071709a.html
Buckle up! Here’s a well-done lunar exploration site with exploration footage: http://www.wechoosethemoon.com/
Addendum: In 1972, a friend and I drove to Cocoa Beach to watch the Apollo 17 lunar mission (the last one) lift off at night, propelled by the awesome Saturn V missile. Although we were about 20 miles from the launchpad, birds awakened and began singing, mistaking the firey glow of the missile for a rising sun. The ground shook as if there were an earthquake — from 20 miles away!