[vii] The Editors have taken the unusual step of devoting an entire Supplement volume of the Encyclopedia to a single topic: "Computers in Spaceflight: the NASA Experience." The reason will hopefully become apparent upon reading this volume. NASA's use of computer technology has encompassed a long period starting in 1958. During this period, hardware and software developments in the computer field were progressing through successive generations. A review of spaceflight applications of these developments offers a panoramic insight into almost two decades of change in the computer industry and into NASA's role.
NASA's role is summarized at the conclusion of this volume:
This report could not be compressed to typical article size without destroying its usefulness and interest. We trust that the readers will find this work to be as fascinating as did the editors.