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Podcast: The Computer Weekly Downtime Upload – Episode 25

In this week’s episode of the Computer Weekly Downtime Upload podcast, Brian McKenna, and Clare McDonald are joined by Cliff Saran to discuss the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, including the technology involved, and how it compares with today’s technology

In this week’s episode of the Computer Weekly Downtime Upload podcast, Cliff Saran stands in for Caroline Donnelly to talk Brian McKenna and Clare McDonald through the technology that made the first Moon landing possible. On the 50th anniversary of man landing on the Moon, Cliff tells the team about the technology involved, as well as other tech-based space adventures.

  • The team discuss Cliff’s popular 2009 article “Apollo 11: The computers that put man on the Moon” as well as Computer Weekly’s coverage of the Moon landing over the years as each anniversary passes.
  • The team mulls over whether there are animals on the International Space Station, and discuss the various furry friends that have visited the great beyond.
  • Brian fills Clare and Cliff in on some of the “other side” of the space race, sharing an excerpt from David Aaronovitch’s memoir Party animals: My family and other communists.
  • Cliff talks bugs, error messages and the longevity of space software, which often needs to be stable and accept updates for about 20 years as hardware makes its journey to remote planets.
  • Clare and Brian round off some of the other news stories covered by Computer Weekly recently, including Alan Turing being chosen as the face of the new £50 note, and DCMS’s ruling on Huawei.
  • The team conclude with a snippet from a speech by British cosmonaut Helen Sharman, who shares a story about space software going wrong.


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