[Ads-l] crew

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 12 23:26:23 UTC 2021

Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> 'Group of passengers on a remotely computer-controlled space vehicle.'
> https://www.yahoo.com/news/watch-blue-origin-launch-4-171513029.html :
> "Watch Blue Origin launch 4-person crew, including William Shatner, to
> space live--"

Excellent point, JL.

Perhaps the Blue Origin crew have assigned duties involving partial
control of the spacecraft if there is an emergency.

Arguably, the Mission Control Center acted as the primary guide for
the Apollo 11 mission back in 1969. Also, the onboard computer landed
the Lunar Module on the moon, an impossible task for a human. In a
sense, the astronaut crew were really passengers even in 1969.

Autopilots on commercial aircraft can control most of the flying time.
The autopilot can also perform an "autoland", but pilots usually land
aircraft manually. Currently, takeoffs are not automated.

Nevertheless, crew members of aircraft and spacecraft are being
transformed into passengers over time. This transformation also
applies to automobile and truck drivers.

Website: The Atlantic
Article: Your Smart Toaster Can’t Hold a Candle to the Apollo Computer
Author: Alexis C. Madrigal

[Begin excerpt]
Without the computers on board the Apollo spacecraft, there would have
been no moon landing, no triumphant first step, no high-water mark for
human space travel. A pilot could never have navigated the way to the
moon, as if a spaceship were simply a more powerful airplane. The
calculations required to make in-flight adjustments and the complexity
of the thrust controls outstripped human capacities.
[End excerpt]

[Begin excerpt]
But the lunar lander was a fly-by-wire system. Any command that
Armstrong gave had to route through the computer. So it’s probably
more accurate to say that when Armstrong landed on the moon, he told
the computer where to touch down. There was no usable manual control;
the real triumph was the flexibility of human-computer interaction.
[End excerpt]


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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