Weave Me To The Moon

 Posted by at 12:19 am  Nick's Blog
Jul 212016

(Sung to the tune of Fly Me To The Moon)

Anybody who knows us knows that Miss Terry is an avid weaver, and you have probably seen my pictures of the beautiful articles she has produced on her loom. Weaving is one of the earliest known art forms, dating back to Neolithic times, approximately 12,000 years ago. But did you know that weaving also helped reach the moon?

Back in the days of the Apollo missions, scientists were having difficulties with the spacecrafts’ onboard computer systems. The necessary programs were coded onto magnetic tapes that had to be read by disc drives that were too big to fit in the spacecraft, or on paper punch cards that required equally large machines to read them. Besides space limitations, the equipment needed to read the codes would not have withstood the punishment of space travel

NASA solved the problem with a technology called core rope memory. Instead of using disks or punch cards, the core was composed of magnets and wires hand woven on a specialized type of loom where individual wires were threaded through specific holes, much like Terry threads individual pieces of yarn through the wire heddles on her loom. Just like computer programming, weaving is based upon a form of binary language created by the raising and lowering of shafts.

In the case of the Apollo moon launches, the necessary computer programs were woven by hand into a format that looked like a rope, but was really complex woven electrical pathways. The work was done by highly skilled garment workers, many of whom were older women. In somewhat dubious honor of their contribution, core rope memory was sometimes referred to as LOL memory, the LOL standing for “Little Old Ladies.”

So when Miss Terry is sitting here weaving away, I guess that means she’s part of a proud tradition that stretches all the way from our motorhome to the moon. Who knew?

Thank you to everybody who purchased my new book, Big Lake Abduction, told their friends about it and shared it on their Facebook pages and in their blogs. You all have helped get it off to a running start. At 11:30 last night it already had two 5 star reviews and was ranked at #2,708 in all Amazon paid Kindle books and #61 in the Kindle Mystery, Thriller & Suspense category.

After sending out my Author’s Newsletter yesterday afternoon, I didn’t have anything else to do, so I started writing a new book. When I knocked off about 11 PM, I had just over 2,000 words written. Here we go again!

It’s Thursday and that means it’s time for a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of my friend Ken Rossignol’s Pirate Trials: Famous Murderous Pirates Book Series: THE LIVES AND ADVENTURES of FAMOUS and SUNDRY PIRATES. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Pirate Trials book 3

Thought For The Day – If tomatoes are technically a fruit, is ketchup a smoothie?

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  2 Responses to “Weave Me To The Moon”

  1. those guys got on a not too reliable rocket, being guided by a rope? More guts than me!!! Hadn’t they ever seen a rope break?

  2. Love this story. Ever here of woven cable? Old weaving technology that has been used in the latest high tech weaponry. I used to set up factories to manufacture it. Insulated wire in the warp and textile in the weft. It’s good to hear about how old tech can make high tech possible…

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