[ih] ARPANET and Apollo 11

Noel Chiappa jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu
Fri Mar 13 05:46:40 PDT 2015

    > From: "Ian Peter"

    > the piston engine was a pretty important precursor to the engines which
    > powered the space landing too.

I guess I don't see the close connection there - more than to, say, the steam
locomotive. When I think over the systems/sub-systems in a rocket, I have a
hard time finding any with a very close link to those in the automobile.

The structure owes more to aircraft practise than anything else (although
there's a distant connection there, since the original airplane engines were
an out-growth of IC engines for cars), except the Atlas balloon tanks, which
were sui generis; the guidance is also pretty much all sui generis (except for
gyros and actuators, which cars lack); the motors are pretty much also sui
generis (although maybe there's a connection there, in the metallurgy of IC
engine valve seats, which may have provided some high-temperature metals for
the combustion chamber).

Did I miss something?

    > But to get to any understanding of what the Internet is as known today,
    > you need to add to the Arpanet developments such as WWW (which you
    > mention), the personal computer

Which I also mentioned, in the first message - but the PC (whose evolution is
also an interesting story) is not the Internet, although the _marriage_ of
the two has created the 'information society' we see today.

    > so many developments and interfaces that anyone looking at what was
    > happening in 1969 would not see it as the same thing.

Clearly there has been considerable evolution in the over 40 years since the
ARPANET was turned on, but i) that's to be expected, and ii) the airplane of
1910 bears very little resemblence to the airplane of 1950 either (an
appropriate comparison, I think, since both periods are at the start of a new
technology), but there, the two are clearly intimately related.

Not many people worked on both the ARPANET and the Internet, but a few key
figures (e.g. Jon Postel) did; and the early Internet people were certainly
intimately familiar with the technical details of the ARPANET, and not just
because we interfaced to it to transport our traffic around: in one of my main
areas of interest, routing, BBN's work on routing in the ARPANET was the
bedrock on which I stood.


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