Space Exploration: Heroic People and Technology
Space exploration is a heroic activity. The early astronauts were literally heroic. But the technology was also heroic, developed to serve a visionary effort like no other in modern times. Engineers and scientists created new fields of study and designed machines that only a few years earlier would have been considered impossible to build. In order to keep astronauts alive in the space environment, physiological and psychological studies of the human body and mind advanced our knowledge. To guide and control the rockets and their systems, computers were developed and miniaturized. The secondary and tertiary technologies that trace their origins to Apollo permeate our society, but sadly those links are largely unknown or forgotten today. We will develop this genealogy, sometimes using a detective's eye to trace back from the present, and at other times via an historical approach, outlining how the present evolved from the past.