Thursday, July 20, 2006

Apollo Guidance Computer

37 years ago today we landed on the moon. Still seems hard to believe - especially with the technology that was available. Top Men have dug up a few details on the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) to help you appreciate the feat even more.

- The AGC and display weighed almost 90 pounds.
- Almost a decade to design and build.
- First computer built from "chips" (integrated circuits) - 4000 of them.
- Building the 75 AGCs at one point used a large percentage of the worlds ICs.
- 2 MHz clock speed. (Playstation2 - 300 MHz)
- 4,000 bytes of RAM (Xbox - 64,000,000 bytes)
- No hard drive, CD, or floppy disk.

Here is a photo of an AGC display. Here is a diagram of the Command Module main control panel. AGC display is in section "C". Here is closeup of that section.

The AGC lead designer Eldon Hall once stated (Top Men are paraphrasing here) that if they had known more, they would have concluded it couldn't be done. Bound to be a lesson in there somewhere.

Previous related Wohba links:
Google Moon
Lunar Vista


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