It is time to take another look back at the history of technology. Here are some notable events that have occured in August.
August 9 – Astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis sent the first email from space on this day in 1991. Atlantis astronauts Shannon Lucid and James C. Adamson used an Apple Macintosh Portable computer to send this message:
Hello Earth! Greetings from the STS-43 Crew. This is the first AppleLink from space. Having a GREAT time, wish you were here,…send cryo and RCS! Hasta la vista, baby,…we’ll be back!
The Macintosh was installed with AppleLink software that had been specially configured to connect to NASA’s communication system. This allowed the Shuttle to interface with Apple’s proprietary network from space.
August 12 – In 1960, the Echo 1 was launched. It was known as the first communication satellite. It wasn’t really a communication satellite by today’s standards. It didn’t transmit signals but reflected them elsewhere.
August 27 – On this day in 2003, Fairbanks, Alaska made history when it was connected to what was at the time the world’s largest battery backup. The battery contained 13,760 cells covering more than 10,000 square feet and was designed to help prevent serious blackouts that occured frequently in the city. The batteries could provide the city with power long enough to allow time to start up the city’s backup diesel generators. It was reported that in the first two years of operation, the battery system prevented at least 81 power failures.