Science and Technology

Russian Moon Landing Failed – October 7, 1965

A Russian Moon Landing that was attempted on October 7, 1965 is believed to have failed.

From Reuters:Signals from Luna 7, Russia’s two-ton space craft designed to reach the moon stopped at eight minutes past 11 last night, the time scheduled for impact. Sir Bernard Lovell, who was in charge of tracking operations at Jodrell Bank, Cheshire, said : We can’t say at the moment what this means. We don’t know whether it is a crash landing or whether it is continuing to work, and the Russians have deliberately switched off the signals.” Later he said that all the evidence indicated that Luna made a destructive impact on the moon. He went on:— “It is impossible to do more than guess at what, if anything, has gone wrong. but out assumption was that the Russians intended to make a soft landing of instruments on the lunar surface ” On that assumption the final stages of firing the retrorockets were only partially successful.”

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“Portable” Video Recorder only 130lbs, $12K December 9, 2012

Ampex Corp. introduces the VR-1500, a “portable television tape recorder”. It only weights 130 pounds, and the company claims that it is one-twentieth the size of previous models. It’s also much more affordable, with a price tag of less than $12,000. That’s less than one-fourth the price of its predecessor models. It should be noted however, that in 2012 dollars, it would cost about $360,000.

From labguysworld The VR-1500 is a simplified version of the Ampex VR-660 professional VTR. The 660 had tighter servos, electronic editing (VR-660B) and even color operation (VR-660C). The VR-1500 uses two inch (5 cm) wide tape, configured in what is called the B-wind. B wind tape feeds from the right side of the reel, with the oxide side facing out. This is the opposite of A-wind tapes which feed from the left and have the oxide side facing in. Tape speed is 3.7 inches per second, providing up to 5 hours of recording time.

Operation of the 1500 and 660 VTRs is by means of the four position joystick control. This was a huge innovation which simplified operation of the VTR as well as the control circuitry inside the deck. The joystick switch was made by General Electric. The controls for recording are sophisticated as well. Audio and video tracks can be recorded simultaneously or separately, as well as re-recorded, after the fact. Click on the photo to read about the joystick controller.

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IBM 7090 Is Hot Stuff at Harvard December 4, 1962

The Harvard Crimson reports:

The main attraction of the new Center is the new IBM 7090 computer. It has replaced most of the large machines formerly housed in the Computation Laboratory, with only sections of Mark I, the world’s first large-scale digital computer, being retained.

High-speed computers have become an irreplaceable research aid in nearly every department and school of the University. Using machines at Harvard and M.I.T., scientists have, in past years, programmed a computer to simulate a complex business operation, to create a “model” river system now being used on problems of water logging and salinity in the Indus River Basin, and to help determine the authors of the Federalist Papers.

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