The Apollo Guidance Computer

The Apollo Guidance Computer

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The technological marvel that facilitated the Apollo missions to the Moon was the on-board computer. In the 1960s most computers filled an entire room, but the spacecrafta€™s computer was required to be compact and low power. Although people today find it difficult to accept that it was possible to control a spacecraft using such a a€˜primitivea€™ computer, it nevertheless had capabilities that are advanced even by todaya€™s standards. This is the first book to fully describe the Apollo guidance computera€™s architecture, instruction format and programs used by the astronauts. As a comprehensive account, it will span the disciplines of computer science, electrical and aerospace engineering. However, it will also be accessible to the a€˜space enthusiasta€™. In short, the intention is for this to be the definitive account of the Apollo guidance computer. Frank Oa€™Briena€™s interest in the Apollo program began as a serious amateur historian. About 12 years ago, he began performing research and writing essays for the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal, and the Apollo Flight Journal. Much of this work centered on his primary interests, the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) and the Lunar Module. These Journals are generally considered the canonical online reference on the flights to the Moon. He was then asked to assist the curatorial staff in the creation of the Cradle of Aviation Museum, on Long Island, New York, where he helped prepare the Lunar Module simulator, a LM procedure trainer and an Apollo space suit for display. He regularly lectures on the Apollo computer and related topics to diverse groups, from NASA's computer engineering conferences, the IEEE/ACM, computer festivals and university student groups.... Since the start of the computer era, there has been the need to express problems for the computer in a form that is understandable to humans, yet easily mechanized for execution in a processor. ... In the section on AGC instructions, Figure 24 showed an example of using basic instructions to add a list of numbers. ... 150 The Executive and Interpreter HIGH LEVEL LANGUAGES AND THE INTERPRETER.

Title:The Apollo Guidance Computer
Author:Frank O'Brien
Publisher:Springer Science & Business Media - 2010-06-25


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