George Westinghouse

George Westinghouse was one of the most important people in the US. His birthday passed recently without much notice.  Most people don’t even know who he is anymore.  Which is a true shame because his achievements still affect us every day.  It’s well known that Westinghouse developed the air brake for railroads and had that been his only achievement he would still  be one of the greatest engineers of all time. But his work and the work of his companies went far beyond just the airbrake.

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A Computer For Apollo

When the space program was started back in the beginning of the 1960’s how to guide the spacecraft in space was a complete unknown.  The problem of calculating burns and orbital insertions was a nontrivial one. At the time all flight control had been analog and in 1960, the computers filled up buildings.  When the call came to go to the moon, one thing was clear though.  A computer small enough to fit on the spacecraft was going to be essential.  That computer would be the Apollo Guidance Computer(AGC).

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