Your mobile phone has a million times the computer power of the machinery that took Apollo spacecraft to the moon.
Given the limitations of the hardware and processing capability of the gear NASA had, the code those computers needed had to be extremely compact and efficient. But that didn’t mean coders couldn’t have a little fun.
Deep inside the millions of lines code for guiding a particular sequence of rocket engine firings is a file called BURN_BABY_BURN-MASTER_IGNITION_ROUTINE. Why call it that?
It relates to Magnificent Montague, a radio DJ who worked in LA in the 1960s. Whenever he played a hot new record, he’d introduce the song with the phrase “BURN, BABY, BURN,” which, of course, was also a reference to the civil rights riots across the US at the time as well as those who were burning their Vietnam draft cards.
I think it’s kinda cool that a radio guy figured into the computer code that got us to the moon.