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Meet Margaret Hamilton, the badass '60s programmer who saved the moon landing

"Apollo was a major software project. Astronauts used the Apollo Guidance Computer, placed in both the command module & the lunar module, for navigation assistance & to control the spacecraft, & someone needed to program it. The software for the guidance computer was written by a team at the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, headed up by Margaret Hamilton. Here's a picture of her next to the code she and her colleagues wrote for the Apollo 11 guidance computer that made the moon landing…

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Margaret Hamilton, leader of the team that developed the flight software for NASAs Apollo missions.

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Her Code Got Humans on the Moon—And Invented Software Itself

••Margaret Hamilton's Code Got Humans on the Moon + Invented Software Itself!•• Wired article 2015-10-13: in a Man's world, yes, it was/is a woman! ; ) 1960 MIT math undergrad • she did when software was not part of language, nor in NASA/Apollo budget + women were not engineers/programmers

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The Great Margaret Hamilton

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Margaret Hamilton was the lead software engineer on the team that developed the Apollo flight computer software, and is credited with coining the term "software engineering." As the Apollo 11 Lunar Module tried to land, an error in the flight manual led to an unnecessary radar being left on, overloading the computer. Her robust design allowed it to detect and report overload situations, and to skip lower-priority tasks. The system handled it appropriately and the landing was not aborted.

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Margaret Hamilton is the one and only: WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST from The Wizard of Oz.

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Margaret Hamilton, a.k.a The Wicked Witch of the West

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JD on

“This is Margaret Hamilton, NASA lead software engineer, and this is the Apollo guidance program she wrote.”

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Episode 0847

The Wicked Witch of the West (played by Margaret Hamilton, reprising her role from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz) flies over Sesame Street and loses her broom.

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Margaret Hamilton, lead Apollo flight software designer, inside the Command Module. Credit: NASA

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