Journey to the moon : the history of the Apollo guidance by Eldon C Hall

By Eldon C Hall

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First flights were Earth-orbital; all were 100% successful. NASA program managers' confidence rose. Then came Apollo 8. Men saw "Earthrise" for the first time as the spacecraft emerged from behind the moon on its first orbit. Apollo 8's guidance computer controlled the rocket engine burn to put the spacecraft into that orbit and computed the spacecraft's path (altitude and velocity) behind the moon, where ground communications were impossible. The astronauts reported the orbital parameters to mission control and surprised the ground controllers, who had not expected to learn those parameters immediately.

Transistor processes were a black art A new of was necessary before the production could become a scientific discipline. reached a reasonable maturity in little That this new semiconductor industry and its more than 10 years is remarkable. The tyranny tivated the semiconductor to industry's need for reduction in size cost When computers became smaller and less demand mushroomed. Within the semiconductor volume the tirst production transistor useful in 1950s. A cross section the {,(\1n"nnn,~nt or of the transistor's constmction and l'1:1,mf1111n metal slugs into both sides of a thin slice of material nHvh,('{·'rl tors.

The mernory stored duplex of all data. A parity check made while from memory detected errors. The word with erroneous was discarded. Because it was a contender for the computer in the Apollo system, the LVDC is discussed further in a later section. of aerospace with the Model designed in the IBM continued mid- 960,;, The 4n: architecture was that its software architecture was the same as that of IBM's SystemJ360 commercial computer. Software that runs on the would run on the 4n:. The intent was to minimize the effon This was the first step toward computer architectures.

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