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Windows 7: Space stuff thread

1 Week Ago   #491

Win 7 Home Prem x64 SP1

Went to a talk today given by a guy named Phil Pollacia. He is an old time IBM'er that that worked on all the flight command code for the Gemini up through the SpaceLab programs. He headed up the team that did all the vector calculations for the translunar injection, lunar orbital insertion, trans earth injection, and then re-entry insertion and splashdown. He sat in the control room for Gemini, Apollo, and SpaceLab. Fascinating guy. Turns out he lives in my hometown! He had numerous pictures of him with Chris Craft and a number of the astronauts. Gave about a 2 hour talk and then Q&A for about an hour. Most people asked about Apollo 13 and the movie, etc. But one story he mentioned was that Apollo 8 had some VERY serious nav issues when Lovell mistakenly entered a command that reconfigured the spacecraft orientation and they developed a bad serious wobble that took some celestial dead reckoning to get the spacecraft reoriented properly. The spacecraft and crew would have been lost had it not been for the flight skills of Lovell and Borman. Much more serious than the public ever knew. Very close to losing it he said. Apollo 8 was also the mission in which the famous Earth rise photograph was taken during the Genesis reading. That particular photo completely changed our view of Earth and our place in the Universe. It was also 1968 and the US was in the midst of much social upheaval and that photo made everyone stop and think.

As an ex-Hughes Aircraft guy who worked on satellite systems (being a Chef is a second career) I was really interested in his insights. All in all a fascinating talk from an interesting guy. Hope to see him around town.
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1 Week Ago   #492

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit Ver 6.1.7600 Build 7601 - SP1

Wonderful story CD; I'll go to presentations like that and our historical society, and always come away inspired.

Unplanned manual re-alignment

Later, Lovell used some otherwise idle time to do some navigational sightings, maneuvering the module to view various stars by using the computer keyboard. However, he accidentally erased some of the computer's memory, which caused the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) to think the module was in the same relative position it had been in before lift-off and fire the thrusters to "correct" the module's attitude.[18]

Once the crew realized why the computer had changed the module's attitude, they realized they would have to re-enter data that would tell the computer its real position. It took Lovell ten minutes to figure out the right numbers, using the thrusters to get the stars Rigel and Sirius aligned, and another 15 minutes to enter the corrected data into the computer.[36]

Sixteen months later, Lovell would once again have to perform a similar manual re-alignment, under more critical conditions, during the Apollo 13 mission, after that module's IMU had to be turned off to conserve energy. In his 1994 book, Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13, Lovell wrote, "My training [on Apollo 8] came in handy!" In that book he dismissed the incident as a "planned experiment", requested by the ground crew.[36] In subsequent interviews Lovell has acknowledged that the incident was an accident, caused by his mistake.[18][19]

4.6 Unplanned manual re-alignment | wikipedia
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1 Week Ago   #493

Win 7 Home Prem x64 SP1

Yes, and there were only 20 people or so there and most of them were seasoned citizens. Too bad that more people aren't interested in things like this (although I understand its not interesting for everybody) and that young folks aren't interested. Pollacia had a significant impact on the success of the space program and much of the technologies that kids today base their lives around came out of the work of guys like him and the technologies of the US space program.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

1 Week Ago   #494

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit Ver 6.1.7600 Build 7601 - SP1

I could not agree more.
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