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  Apollo Guidance Computer design documents

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Author Topic:   Apollo Guidance Computer design documents
Capcom1
Member

Posts: 55
From: Monroe, WA
Registered: Jul 2004

posted 01-14-2006 11:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Capcom1   Click Here to Email Capcom1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just came across these Apollo Guidance System Documents from the NASA Office of Logic Design.

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 4081
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-15-2006 01:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I use this site extensively when researching artifacts... a great sub-section which has many general Apollo publications is located here.

robertsconley
Member

Posts: 57
From: Meadville, PA
Registered: Jun 2005

posted 01-15-2006 09:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for robertsconley   Click Here to Email robertsconley     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a place where they put those documents in action, in addition in the Orbiter add-on project for Apollo there is an option to use the AGC simulator.

spaceuk
Member

Posts: 2113
From: Staffs, UK
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 01-16-2006 06:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is an excellent source of material - especially GNC.

I only wish it had existed when I was writing the article "Apollo On Board Computers" way back in very early 1970's. But at that time, a lot of material was still classified - as Apollo and Skylab were still operational.

At the time, I kept long distance snail mail correspondence with MIT engineers and I had help from the likes of Battin, Hoag and some NASA PR men at DC HQ. I had some help from engineers at Houston MCC like Kranz and in the GNC trench. (No internet then or skype tel calls!). Even faxes (or telexes then) were very expensive so most materials passed through 8-10 weeks of snail mail.

However, the article did make it to publication in BIS Spaceflight magazine in early 1970's and, nowadays, can be found on Apollo Lunar Surface Journal (ALSJ) site and on Apollo Flight Journals sites and some NASA history web sites allied to these two.

For quite a few years now, whenever I have done spaceflight exhibitions, I have displayed the main two pages of assembler luminary code that deals with the descent (P63). In recent years I have supplemented this code display with several Apollo GNC items including gyro, GNC tray modules and a real Apollo IC's - as well as some shuttle GNC items like the onboard computer and HAL/s manual.

spaceuk
Member

Posts: 2113
From: Staffs, UK
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 01-16-2006 06:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As a sideline on the above, I do remember that when my article was published on the Apollo Onboard Computers I offered readers the opportunity that if they wrote to me I would supply a list of the Apollo program code numbers with the noun/verb combinations (because there was too much material for BIS mag at the time).

I don't think these codes had been published before this but, anyway, I thought no more about it when I sent manuscript off to BIS.

Then, just after the magazine appeared I was inundated by requests for the codes - including several from overseas including USA. I suddenly found myself having to find somewhere to run off these several pages of codes. (You have to remember that photocopiers were expensive devices in those days and that users usually had to sign for how many copies they made at work! And here was me wanting a few hundred!)

Anyway, I managed to come to some arrangement with work saying it was good for their publicity.

Fortunately for me - at that time - I was working on American made generation systems doing assembler coding (but this was compiled rather interpreted) but it gave me a very good understanding of the coding used in CM/LM GNC units - even though at the time I was only allowed see just a few lines of it due to the "Secret-Confidential" classification on it at the time.

I've still got the original typewritten Apollo program and noun/verb codes I did.

kennedyone
Member

Posts: 26
From: Garrison Iowa 52229
Registered: Jun 2009

posted 10-05-2009 12:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kennedyone   Click Here to Email kennedyone     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am in the planning stages of building a replica DSKY unit. Does anyone have any info to the design of this unit?

I would like build an exact working replica.

Editor's note: Threads merged.

moorouge
Member

Posts: 2369
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 10-05-2009 08:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To build a working replica of the Apollo computer and to give you a start might I suggest you glance at pages 106 - 108 of the Haynes Apollo 11 Owners' Workshop Manual. Then set about recruiting a band of LOL's - little old ladies.

nasamad
Member

Posts: 2065
From: Essex, UK
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 10-05-2009 10:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for nasamad   Click Here to Email nasamad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a nice replica of a Block 1 AGC to get you guys started!

moorouge
Member

Posts: 2369
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 01-09-2018 05:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Am I reading this correctly. To quote from a NASA press release dated 4th January 1970 -
Each guidance computer, located in each spacecraft contains six fixed memory modules. The fixed memory modules are fabricated to the specific requirements of each mission, and therefore each set of modules is unique.
I take this to mean that there was no such thing as "an Apollo computer" but that every one used on the missions was designed specifically for that particular flight and for a particular set of tasks. Is this correct and would this explain the problem encountered by Apollo 14?

Jim Behling
Member

Posts: 1182
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 01-09-2018 11:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by moorouge:
Am I reading this correctly. To quote from a NASA press release dated 4th January 1970 -
Each guidance computer, located in each spacecraft contains six fixed memory modules. The fixed memory modules are fabricated to the specific requirements of each mission, and therefore each set of modules is unique.
I take this to mean that there was no such thing as "an Apollo computer" but that every one used on the missions was designed specifically for that particular flight and for a particular set of tasks. Is this correct and would this explain the problem encountered by Apollo 14?

No, all the basic hardware was the same, just that rope core memory was different and unique.

All times are CT (US)

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