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This article was published on July 19, 2019

Google used 107,000 solar panels to create a portrait of Apollo 11 pioneer Margaret Hamilton

The solar panel portrait was bigger than New York's Central Park

Google used 107,000 solar panels to create a portrait of Apollo 11 pioneer Margaret Hamilton
Mix
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Mix

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Mix is a tech writer based in Amsterdam that loves cinema and probably hates the movies that you like. Tell him everything you despise about Mix is a tech writer based in Amsterdam that loves cinema and probably hates the movies that you like. Tell him everything you despise about his work on Twitter.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of NASA’s historic moon landing mission, Google built a massive portrait of Apollo 11 software lead Margaret Hamilton using only solar panels and the reflection of the moon.

The impressive art installation, which was set up in the Ivanpah Solar Facility in the Mojave Desert, used a total of 107,000 solar mirrors to illustrate Hamilton. The portrait is bigger than New York City’s Central Park spanning 3.6 square kilometers (1.4 square miles).

When turned, the solar mirrors illuminate the face of Hamilton, along with an image of a moon drone.

For those out of the loop, Hamilton headed the team that developed the onboard flight software for all of NASA’s manned Apollo expeditions, including the historic Apollo 11 mission.

She is also often credited with coining the term “software engineering” in the 1960s as a way of giving the discipline more legitimacy.

Here’s some footage from Google‘s solar mirror installation:

Google is big on Apollo 11 celebrations

The solar panel installation wasn’t the only Apollo 11 celebration Google had prepped.

In addition to the Hamilton tribute, the Big G also updated Search with a themed doodle (as it often does for such occasions).

The doodle, which portrays an astronaut setting foot on the moon, gives insight into the story behind  the 400,000 people that made Apollo 11 a reality.

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