They were solving the equations needed to perform the first moon landing. http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2009/07/initially-they-were-going-to-the-moon-using-big-ladders/
The Administration's economic team proving out the Keynesian fiscal multiplier?
What? Why didn't they just use Excel?
Dudes and ladders
Looking back at the early days of the space program, it's hard to believe that there was once a time in this country when we knew how to build our own ladders.
Isn't that great? Though rather odd, as it seems outside in a parking lot, and also wouldn't landscape rather than portrait orientation be easier to get to the top? Couple of ideas:- maybe it was an open day and they wanted something to impress the crowds- maybe it was part of training program: in the early years there was an urgent need to train lots of engineers in basics of astrodynamics- when doing calculations by hand and slide-rule you'd want the main equations to be visible all the time
The shocking thing is the lack of warning labels on those ladders! I am surprised we didn't lose half our rocket scientists in toppling over indidents.By the way, that is how we used to give powerpoint presentations in the days before computers, projectors, ..., powerpoint.
Another idea.The Life Magazine art director dreamed up this idea for a cover shot to illustrate some major opus they had planned for the space program and sketched out the whole thing ahead of time, including the ladders. A portrait orientation fits on a magazine cover much better than a landscape, and having the main illustration for a story in a vertical format makes it much easier for editors to 'pitch' the story for the cover.The Life Magazine crew showed up with the ladders and worked out very carefully where everyone would be, what they would wear, hold in their hands, and which way they would be facing (note the guy down on one knee, doing...what?). The equations were then very deliberately drawn, probably all by the same person (note uniform handwriting), on a freshly washed board in a size large enough to read well in a photograph.Probably the only place to set up a large blackboard oriented vertically was outside in the parking lot, where there was the added benefit of even, 'open shade' light that didn't require the whole thing be lit with strobes.Just a guess.
The voice of the professional! He's probably right.
Indeed he is. Note the crude rigging to hang the chalk board in its unnatural (vertical) position on the side of a building adjacent to a parking lot.
"I can do that shit in my sleep." - Will Hunting