Space Frontiers/Getty Images
The Apollo 11 Lunar Module 'Eagle' begins its ascent to rendezvous with the Command/Service Module 'Columbia' after its successful lunar landing, July 21, 1969.
Remember this scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey, in which astronaut Dave Bowman battles with the spacecraft's onboard computer, HAL-9000?
Dave Bowman: 'Open the pod bay doors, HAL.'
HAL: 'I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.'
Dave: 'What's the problem?'
HAL: 'I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.'
Dave: 'What are you talking about, HAL?'
HAL: 'This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.'
Dave: 'I don't know what you're talking about, HAL.'
HAL: 'I know you and Frank were planning to disconnect me, and I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen.'
Now, a very different story on the tug-of-war between man and machine has emerged. It's called Digital Apollo, Human and Machine in Spaceflight. Author David Mindell talks about how decisions are made between astronauts, engineers and computers.