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

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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

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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)

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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)

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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

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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...

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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)

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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...

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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?)

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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...

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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.