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History of science

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CBS News

CBS News reporter William Harwood spotlights the Apollo 11 astronauts who made history by successfully completing the first landing on the moon, including Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, who “earned a Ph.D. in orbital mechanics from MIT and helped perfect the rendezvous techniques needed by Apollo crews.”

BBC News

Prof. Emeritus Fernando Corbató, a computer pioneer known for his work with time-sharing computing systems and for inventing the computer password, has died at 93, reports the BBC. “Our world would be very different without his research and that of his descendants,” said Prof. Fadel Adib. “He inspires in his work and his legacy."

Guardian

Margaret Hamilton, who led the development of the onboard flight software for the Apollo missions at MIT, speaks with Guardian reporter Zoë Corbyn about her trailblazing work in computing. When asked her advice for young women interested in computer programming, Hamilton says, “Don’t let fear get in the way and don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know” or “I don’t understand” – no question is a dumb question.”

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Hiawatha Bray explores how MIT Instrumentation Lab researchers helped pave the way for the Apollo 11 moon landing. Bray notes Instrumentation Lab researchers “developed one of its most vital components: the guidance and navigation systems that directed the Apollo command and landing crafts to — and onto — the moon.”

New York Times

New York Times reporter Katie Hafner memorializes the life and work of Professor Emeritus Fernando Corbató, known for his work on computer time-sharing systems.  Hafner notes that Corbató’s work on “computer time-sharing in the 1960s helped pave the way for the personal computer, as well as the computer password.”

Smithsonian Magazine

Smithsonian reporters Abigail Croll and Maddi Hellmich spotlight Margaret Hamilton’s work developing the coding used in the Apollo 11 onboard flight software and lunar landing machinery. “Because software was a mystery, a black box, upper management gave us total freedom and trust,” says Hamilton. “Looking back, we were the luckiest people in the world; there was no choice but to be pioneers."

PBS

Writing for PBS’ American Experience about the women who helped ensure the success of the Apollo 11 mission, Nathalia Holt highlights the work of Margaret Hamilton, who led the development of software for the Apollo missions while at MIT.

WCVB

WCVB-TV’s Chronicle spotlights how researchers at the MIT Instrumentation Lab developed the technology needed to successfully bring Apollo astronauts to the moon.

The Washington Post

In an article for The Washington Post, Prof. Kate Brown examines the impacts of the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown. Brown notes that the consequences of the accident reached further than initially thought, writing that “the fallout map shows that Chernobyl radioactivity drifted widely across Europe, usually in areas with higher altitudes and precipitation.”

BBC News

BBC Future reporter Richard Hollingham examines how MIT researchers developed the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC), which helped Apollo 11 astronauts navigate safely to and from the moon. “The AGC was filled with thousands of integrated circuits, or silicon chips,” Hollingham explains. “NASA’s order of this new technology led to the rapid expansion of Silicon Valley and accelerated the development of today’s computers.”

Wired

Wired reporter Stephen Witt highlights how researchers at the MIT Instrumentation Lab programmed the Apollo 11 computer, which enabled astronauts to successfully walk on the moon. Witt writes that perhaps the Apollo program’s “true legacy is etched not in moondust but in silicon.”

Fast Company

Fast Company contributor Charles Fishman explores the late Prof. Charles Draper’s instrumental contributions to making space flight possible, noting that Draper was so committed to his work that he volunteered to train as an astronaut so he could join an Apollo mission. “Space travel wouldn’t have been possible without Draper’s work and that of his group at MIT’s Instrumentation Lab,” writes Fishman.

Fast Company

Fast Company contributor Charles Fishman speaks with Margaret Hamilton about her work at MIT on the development of software for the Apollo missions. Hamilton, who is often credited with popularizing the term software engineering explains that, “Software during the early days of (Apollo) was treated like a stepchild and not taken as seriously as other engineering disciplines, such as hardware engineering.”

Fast Company

In an article for Fast Company, Charles Fishman explores how MIT researchers pioneered the use of integrated circuits, technology that is an integral component of today’s digital technologies, in the Apollo 11 computer. “MIT, NASA, and the race to the Moon laid the very foundation of the digital revolution, of the world we all live in,” writes Fishman.

Fast Company

Writing for Fast Company, Charles Fishman explores how MIT researchers developed the computer that helped enable the Apollo 11 moon landing. Fishman notes that the computer was “the smallest, fastest, most nimble, and most reliable computer ever created,” adding that it became “so indispensable that some at MIT and NASA called it ‘the fourth crew member.’”