We have lift-off on /dev/fort 5

This article was published by Mark Norman Francis on Wednesday, December 01, 2010 at 00:09.

In a welcome return to an actual fort and the location of the very first project, the fifth /dev/fort expedition left Southampton Airport for Alderney on November 22nd, 2010.

After a day of bandying ideas back and forth, the idea from Russ Garrett of building a site to make the original transcripts from early NASA missions more useful won the group over. After some two hundred postits were created, catalogued and prioritised, the three designers and ten developers got to work and built something.

With the domain registered in Alderney airport on the way back, and the code pushed to github the same day, we set ourselves a goal of getting it live within 48 hours of return.

Roger. There’s nothing like an interesting launch.

Only thirty-six hours after touchdown at Southampton Airport, a flurry of tweets announced the lift-off of our project on http://spacelog.org. There you can browse and easily link to the transcripts from the Apollo 13 and Mercury 6 missions. And, if you feel up to it, you can help us add more.

The site has more than just the transcripts though. In with the transcripts are some of the lovely NASA photographs, such as mission control, Apollo 13 clearing the launch tower and the damage to the service module that was the cause of the (mis)quote "Houston, we have a problem."

Along with the transcripts, there is a visualisation of the various stages of the Apollo 13 spacecraft, and some stats porn on the amount of conversation in the phases pages. There is also a run-down of who was involved on the people page. And the scans of the original transcripts that the text was taken from are also available. Lastly, add in a full text search and we think we made something fairly awesome and beautiful, and John Glenn agrees.

We are proud to say that we built this in just a week. But Tom Stafford could have built it in a day.