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"Soul of a new machine" for Apollo,
This review is from: Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in Spaceflight (Hardcover)Thankfully the publisher used silky cream paper to print this book. The paper caresses your hands while the words massage your brain. This book rewards the touch of your hand by taking you on a magic carpet ride through the development of the guidance and navigation systems for the moon shot. It is "The Soul of a New Machine" for Apollo. Also has excellent line illustrations inside and a fantastic cover graphic of the Lunar Module control panel.
It's a fascinating account of how the guidance computer and the human astronaut (and often flight controllers) struggled to trust each other for the moon landing (The astronauts never let the auto-land program land the Lunar Module). The love-hate emotions of the computer-astronaut interface are laid bare on the pages of this book. Although there is no shortage of technical detail, it all seems essential to the narrative. Initially, it seems as if the book is losing focus, but soon the connections become clear: the book reads like a detective novel.
If you have read two or more books on the space program, this should be your next purchase. Once you have read one Apollo book, there tends to be a lot of repetition - not here. "Digital Apollo" provides many details the others lack.
A secondary audience for this book is anyone interested in IT project management. This book provides a case study on complex, mission-critical project management. Much to be learned, especially about the human-machine interaction. This should be required ready for engineering majors.
At under $20 on amazon.com, this book is sure to fire the pleasure centers neurons.