The moon landing and digitisation: What the 50th anniversary means for digital business [5 reading tips]

Mondlandung und Digitalisierung historisches Foto
Source: Pixabay

A few days ago we all looked into the sky. There was a partial lunar eclipse on 16 June, then a strawberry moon in July. The moon landing was just 50 years ago! That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap… Well you know the rest.

Since then, the internet has been bubbling with moon content. We’re taking this as an opportunity to use the reading tips today to make content recs and, just this once, to refer to videos and podcasts. We also want to draw connections between space travel and digitisation.

The moon landing and digitisation: From Apollo 11 to Amazon

The video of the week is black and white, the soundtrack is cracking and people are wearing bodysuits. Not your typical influencer content. We’re talking about the video of the moonwalk, which NASA has posted on YouTube. It’s over three hours long. But what does that have to do with digitisation? Its thesis is daring. But… The space pioneering achievements of the Cold War have thrilled an entire generation of rocket science. Especially Jeff Bezos who was born in 1964. Amazon’s founder has made it no secret that he loves science fiction, especially Star Trek. Bezos founded his private space company, Blue Origin, in 2000.

The moon landing and digitisation: A brilliant programmer

Google paid tribute to the moon mission for the anniversary with an impressive installation. More than 100,000 mirrors reflect the moonlight in the Mojave Desert, showing the face of a human being. But it’s not Neil Armstrong. It’s an iconic portrait of Margaret Hamilton, the mathematician who developed the software for the Moon’s mission.

Lunar landing anniversaries mentioned her work, but it’s only with this anniversary that she becomes the focus of global attention, and so a petite mathematician and young mother, who remained on the ground and with the software she wrote the mission made possible only slowly, for the body of the well-trained male hero, who forced himself into a capsule and was shot to the moon.

What it was like to work as a programmer in this mission, and why Hamilton never tires of emphasizing team performance, is showcased in an incredible interview with The Guardian. If you like code more than interviews… Read this. Margaret Hamilton’s original code was also published on GitHub on the 50th anniversary.

The moon landing and digitisation: Using a fraction of today’s technology

One of the most beautiful sites around the Space Jubilee is the site wehackthemoon.com, which NASA has implemented with the UX design agency Draper. Sure, it’s official stuff. Nobody who works for NASA would deny that there really was a moon landing.

But with digital transformation and the rise of social media, conspiracy theorists voices have gotten louder and go against the official narrative. Sure, going against the grain can be enlightening, but in this case, it is more of an annoyance. In the case of the moon landing a common particular sentence has stayed: the moon landing is a hoax, a Hollywood production.

The moon landing didn’t just bring conspiracy theorists, but also podcasts like »Politics and more« from the New Yorker who not only discuss the moon landing but also smart social media methods to combat such misinformation.

The moon landing and digitisation: Where are we headed?

Fifty years ago, the first human landed on the moon, but we haven’t been back for 47 years. In 2024, NASA wants to change that and set out again there while being supported by the private digital economy, which has earned its billions with e-commerce. Just in time for the anniversary, Bezos presented his new lunar module »Blue Moon«. He wants to make it available to NASA so that more people can go to the moon and we can broadcast the feat once again, and maybe one day more and more everyday people can become astronauts.

Our 5 reading tips of the week

Rebroadcast der Mondlandung [NASA]

Mondlandungs-Spezial [Google]

Die Programmiererin Margaret Hamilton im Interview [The Guardian]

Hamiltons Code im Original [GitHub]

Umfangreiches Mondlandungs-Spezial auf deutsch [DIE ZEIT]

 

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