Space Geeks rejoice! We now have the source code of the Apollo 11 Guidance Computer (AGC) available on Github*. The code is a testament to a time when software was written by truly brilliant men and women (i.e. not everyday hacks like me).
Though not as impressive as the original writing of the code, how it made it into digital form deserves props as well. Each file contains the following comment:
This source code has been transcribed or otherwise adapted from digitized images of a hardcopy from the MIT Museum.
As with any good open-source project, other developers may comment, raise issues, and contribute. One user has already pointed out the need to “Check continuity on O2 cryogenic tanks before allowing stir” (Github – Apollo-11 – Issue 3). Another user shared this issue had just happened to him and provided a screenshot:
For more on the code, check out:
- Don Eyles Walks Us Through the Lunar Module Source Code – Hackaday
- Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in Spaceflight (MIT Press) – Amazon
- I first became aware of this repo via a post on Hacker News. The comments on that one make for a good read.
*Others have pointed out that this code has been shared online before; however, I find that the collaborative nature of Github makes for a much more interesting experience among those of us who love space and code.