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Shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane on “The Amazing Flight Software People”

Shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane has some thoughts about the IBM team who built the Shuttle onboard flight software.

Space Shuttle First Flights: The Amazing Flight Software People

The people who designed, tested and supported the Space Shuttle Flight Software were the most exceptional technical team I’ve encountered.

Space Shuttle First Flights: Columbia (February 3, 2003)

As with Apollo 13, NASA "can do amazing things when they've got their back against the wall". But for Space Shuttle Columbia they didn't try.

Space Shuttle First Flights: Discovery Launch Abort (June 1984)

The maiden voyage of Space Shuttle Discovery was scheduled for June 25, 1984. The first-ever main engine shutdown launch abort scared the crap out of us.

Space Shuttle First Flights: STS-1 (Columbia) The First Orbital Flight

Our Shuttle flight software team had the “distinction” of hearing Walter Cronkite describe, live and on national television, whether we’d done our work correctly.

Space Shuttle First Flights: Dick Truly – The Approach and Landing...

I had visions of the Space Shuttle Enterprise getting jostled during separation and colliding with the 747’s vertical stabilizer – which would definitely make for a bad day all around.

Space Shuttle First Flights: John Aaron (“Exceptional” Flight Software)

NASA's John Aaron set high standards for IBM, and Space Shuttle onboard software came closer to "error-free" than any large, complex software ever built.

Space Shuttle First Flights: John Aaron (Software Failure Is Not An...

I met with John Aaron to explain why IBM couldn’t fulfill a Shuttle software contract that required zero errors. His answer changed my mind.

Space Shuttle First Flights: John Aaron (Error-Free Code?)

NASA required IBM’s Space Shuttle software to be delivered “error-free”. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the likelihood of that was extremely low.

Space Shuttle First Flights: Bob Crippen and Dick Truly – Working...

Hearing about the near-legendary competence of NASA astronauts was one thing, seeing it in action was humbling. Bob Crippen and Dick Truly, the two I got to work with on Space Shuttle, were the most impressive professionals I’ve met.