Apollo 11 sourcecode on Github

Though the code for Apollo 11's "Apollo Guidance Computer" has been online since 2003, when Ron Burkey rekeyed it from the scans that Gary Neff had uploaded, ex-NASA intern Chris Garry's posting of the code to Github last week has precipitated a widespread interest in the code, along with close scrutiny of the code itself.

The code and its comments has lots of injokes: an injunction to the astronaut to "crank the silly thing around"; a file called "PINBALL_GAME_BUTTONS_AND_LIGHTS.s"; a subroutine called "BURN_BABY_BURN--MASTER_IGNITION_ROUTINE.agc" and a comment about "TRASHY LITTLE SUBROUTINES" -- and, of course, some Shakespeare ("IT WILL BE PROVED TO THY FACE THAT THOU HAST MEN ABOUT THEE THAT/USUALLY TALK OF A NOUN AND A VERB, AND SUCH ABOMINABLE WORDS AS NO/CHRISTIAN EAR CAN ENDURE TO HEAR.").

The Github community is going at the code with humorous gusto.

Now that the code is on GitHub, programmers can actually suggest changes and file issues. And, of course, they have. One developer submitted an issue saying, “A customer has had a fairly serious problem with stirring the cryogenic tanks with a circuit fault present,” and listed steps to reproduce the problem. “Be aware that this may be hazardous to the tester attempting it,” he added. The responses flooded in.

Apollo 11 [Chris L Gary/Github]

The code that took America to the moon was just published to GitHub, and it’s like a 1960s time capsule
[Keith Collins/Quartz]