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Fly me to the moon - Restore Records

Published on 29 July 2019

Fly me to the moon - Restore Records

Apollo 11: it took Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin just over 195 hours to complete the round trip to and from the moon. It would take a little longer now, as the moon moves away from the Earth at a rate of 3.8cm a year…

Did you know? Despite such a massive adventure and step into the unknown, the astronauts had minimal life insurance and signed special ‘first day cover’ envelopes that their families could auction to raise funds if necessary.

Much has been made of the tiny processing power and memory of the Apollo Guidance System (AGS), but it can’t really be compared to today’s computers since it was not general purpose, but hardwired to carry out a single task. The AGS was fed navigation information by the computers on the ground and was there as an emergency communications link. Except for the crucial role it played in landing on the moon.

It took the equivalent of 1,400 person-years of work to develop the software needed for the AGS. Margaret Hamilton, the Lead Flight Software Designer, created the term ‘software engineering’ and programmed the AGS. During the moon landing the AGS became overloaded with instructions, but recognised this and prioritised landing-critical tasks rather than freezing – as today’s computers probably would – thereby enabling the landing to take place. 

The AGS was used for 14 further manned missions, up until 1975. 

With the exponential increase in computer power has come the associated increase in data creation and the need for it to be correctly stored. Our media storage centres are located across England, Wales and Scotland and are perfectly equipped to store your data; optimal conditions for magnetic tape back ups and powerful servers that run our cloud back up service. If you have a quick look in our store, you’ll see a selection of super-strong cases designed to securely transport magnetic tapes. Speaking of security – all Restore’s collections and deliveries are tracked by precision GPS – which was, of course, developed by NASA.

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