Bringing Gemini Home: Programming Re-entry
In the 1960s, it was up to programmers like Alice Schmidt to help bring Gemini capsules safely home.
Schmidt was a member of an IBM programming team hired by NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center to analyze re-entry trajectories and guidance navigation to drop the Gemini capsule in a specific area in the ocean for recovery. The Gemini program was an important step in getting humans to the moon.
Schmidt joins the podcast to talk about her work with NASA, what it was like being a female programmer, and just how her team figured out complicated computations using only punch cards and pencils.