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August 16, 2016 AT 6:00 am

Time Travel Tuesday #timetravel a look back at the Adafruit, maker, science, technology and engineering world

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1858 – U.S. President James Buchanan inaugurates the new transatlantic telegraph cable by exchanging greetings with Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. However, a weak signal forces a shutdown of the service in a few weeks.

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In the 1840s and 1850s several individuals proposed or advocated construction of a telegraph cable across the Atlantic Ocean, including Edward Thornton and Alonzo Jackman. Cyrus West Field and the Atlantic Telegraph Company were behind the construction of the first transatlantic telegraph cable. The project began in 1854 and was completed in 1858. The cable functioned for only three weeks, but it was the first such project to yield practical results. The first official telegram to pass between two continents was a letter of congratulation from Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom to the President of the United States James Buchanan on August 16. Signal quality declined rapidly, slowing transmission to an almost unusable speed. The cable was destroyed the following month when Wildman Whitehouse applied excessive voltage to it while trying to achieve faster operation. It has been argued that the faulty manufacture, storage and handling of the 1858 cable would have led to premature failure in any case. The cable’s rapid failure undermined public and investor confidence and delayed efforts to restore a connection. A second attempt was undertaken in 1865 with much-improved material and, following some setbacks, a connection was completed and put into service on July 28, 1866. This cable proved more durable.

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1933 – Stuart Roosa, American colonel, pilot, and astronaut is born.

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Stuart Allen “Stu” Roosa, was an American aeronautical engineer, United States Air Force pilot, test pilot, and NASA astronaut, who was the Command Module Pilot for the Apollo 14 mission. The mission lasted from January 31 to February 9, 1971 and was the third mission to land astronauts (Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell) on the Moon. While Shepard and Mitchell spent two days on the lunar surface, Roosa conducted experiments from orbit in the Command Module Kitty Hawk. He was one of only 24 people to travel to the Moon.

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1960 – Joseph Kittinger parachutes from a balloon over New Mexico at 102,800 feet (31,300 m), setting three records that held until 2012: High-altitude jump, free fall, and highest speed by a human without an aircraft.

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On August 16, 1960, Kittinger made the final high altitude jump at 102,800 feet (31,300 m). Towing a small drogue parachute for initial stabilization, he fell for 4 minutes and 36 seconds, reaching a maximum speed of 614 miles per hour (988 km/h) before opening his parachute at 18,000 feet (5,500 m). Incurring yet another equipment malfunction, the pressurization for his right glove malfunctioned during the ascent and his right hand swelled to twice its normal size, but he rode the balloon up to 102,800 feet before stepping off.

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1993 – Debian announced, initially called “the Debian Linux Release”.

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Debian is a Unix-like computer operating system that is composed entirely of free software, most of which is under the GNU General Public License, and packaged by a group of individuals called the Debian Project. Three main branches are offered: Stable, Testing, and Unstable.

The Debian Stable Linux distribution is one of the most popular for personal computers and network servers, and has been used as a base for several other distributions. The Debian Testing and Unstable branches are rolling release and eventually become the Stable distribution after development and testing. Packages are first uploaded to Unstable, from which they migrate to Testing. When Testing is mature enough it becomes Stable.

Debian was first announced in 1993 by Ian Murdock, Debian 0.01 was released in August 1993, and the first stable release was made in 1996. The development is carried out over the Internet by a team of volunteers guided by the Debian Project Leader and three foundational documents: the Debian Social Contract, the Debian Constitution, and the Debian Free Software Guidelines. New distributions are updated continually, and the next candidate is released after a time-based freeze.

As one of the earliest Linux distributions, it was envisioned that Debian was to be developed openly in the spirit of the GNU Project. This vision drew the attention and support of the Free Software Foundation, which sponsored the project for one year from November 1994 to November 1995. Upon the ending of the sponsorship, the Debian Project formed the non-profit organisation Software in the Public Interest.

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