Build Your Own NASA Apollo Landing Computer

Would you like to own the computer Neil Armstrong used to land on the moon in 1969?

Well, that’s possible now, because a geek named John Pultorak created a working reproduction of the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC), wrote a complete manual that will allow you to build your own Apollo flight computer clone and released it in the puclic domain. Well, I think that’s just incredible!

John Pultorak, who is a 54 year old Lockheed Martin software engineer, built his own Apollo AGC in his basement. He completed it in 2005 – it took him 4 years to build it (working about 10 hours a week on the project) and he spent about $3, 000 for the required hardware. When finished, he created a fantastic 1,000 page documentation which includes detailed descriptions and all schematics of the computer.

Neil Armstrong computerUsing his manuals you are now able to build your own Apollo Guidance Computer, and you’ll probably even need less time than John did, as all the research has already been done. Of course the manuals also include the required software code for the Apollo computer.
The Apollo AGC itself is a piece of computing history, it was developed by the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory and it was a quite amazing piece of hardware in the 1960s. It was the first computer to use integrated circuits (ICs), running at 1 Mhz it offered four 16-bit registers, 4K words of RAM and 32K words of ROM. The AGC mutlitasking operating system was called the EXEC, it was capable of executing up to 8 jobs at a time. The user interface unit was called the DSKY (display/keyboard, pronounced “disky”); an array of numerals and a calculator-style keyboard used by the astronauts to communicate with the computer.

Each Apollo mission featured two AGC computers – one in the Apollo Command Module (“CM”, that’s the spacecraft orbiting the moon) and one in the Apollo Lunar Module (“LM”, that’s the spacecraft that landed on the moon). The command module (CM) had two DSKYs; one located on the main instrument panel and another located in the equipment bay. The lunar module (LM) had a single DSKY for its AGC.

By the way, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon they did have some trouble with the AGC which reported several unusual “program alarms” and guided them towards a large crater with rocks scattered around it. Armstrong took manual control of the lunar module (with Aldrin calling out data from the radar and computer) and guided it to a landing with about 30 seconds of fuel left.

So if you’d like to build your own Apollo computer, go to the source of this post and take a look =D

Would you like to own the computer Neil Armstrong used to land on the moon in 1969?

Well, that’s possible now, because a geek named John Pultorak created a working reproduction of the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC), wrote a complete manual that will allow you to build your own Apollo flight computer clone and released it in the puclic domain. Well, I think that’s just incredible!

John Pultorak, who is a 54 year old Lockheed Martin software engineer, built his own Apollo AGC in his basement. He completed it in 2005 – it took him 4 years to build it (working about 10 hours a week on the project) and he spent about $3, 000 for the required hardware. When finished, he created a fantastic 1,000 page documentation which includes detailed descriptions and all schematics of the computer.

Neil Armstrong computerUsing his manuals you are now able to build your own Apollo Guidance Computer, and you’ll probably even need less time than John did, as all the research has already been done. Of course the manuals also include the required software code for the Apollo computer.

The Apollo AGC itself is a piece of computing history, it was developed by the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory and it was a quite amazing piece of hardware in the 1960s. It was the first computer to use integrated circuits (ICs), running at 1 Mhz it offered four 16-bit registers, 4K words of RAM and 32K words of ROM. The AGC mutlitasking operating system was called the EXEC, it was capable of executing up to 8 jobs at a time. The user interface unit was called the DSKY (display/keyboard, pronounced “disky”); an array of numerals and a calculator-style keyboard used by the astronauts to communicate with the computer.

Each Apollo mission featured two AGC computers – one in the Apollo Command Module (“CM”, that’s the spacecraft orbiting the moon) and one in the Apollo Lunar Module (“LM”, that’s the spacecraft that landed on the moon). The command module (CM) had two DSKYs; one located on the main instrument panel and another located in the equipment bay. The lunar module (LM) had a single DSKY for its AGC.

By the way, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon they did have some trouble with the AGC which reported several unusual “program alarms” and guided them towards a large crater with rocks scattered around it. Armstrong took manual control of the lunar module (with Aldrin calling out data from the radar and computer) and guided it to a landing with about 30 seconds of fuel left.

So if you’d like to build your own Apollo computer, go to the source of this post and take a look

Source :>> http://www.galaxiki.org/web/main/_blog/all/build-your-own-nasa-apollo-landing-computer-no-kidding.shtml

Apollo 11 Neil Armstrong

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