A deep dive into the Apollo Guidance Computer, and the hack that saved Apollo 14


[H]F Junkie
Dec 19, 2005
Man, this is what really gets my gears going! I love space flight

"The recovery from Apollo 14’s Abort switch failure can only be described as brilliant and heroic. But the most important enabler of this effort was that the software, while fiendishly complex, could be understood by a small team of developers. Modern hardware and software, with its extensive protection schemes, virtualization and dynamic program management simply would make such a simple hack impossible. Faced with a comparable problem today, even if the fix were trivial, the solution likely would require large amounts of code to be recompiled, tested and uploaded to the spacecraft. This may not be possible given the short timeframe necessary to save the mission.

In the end, Apollo 14’s fix truly represented the “Spirit of Apollo," where talented teams made the impossible happen.


Truly amazing accomplishment - getting to the moon before the year 1970, with full realization of what the Apollo engineers had to work with, in terms of computer technological limitations.