O.T.-Dinner with Neil Armstrong



#13

This link leads you to Randy Cassingham's blog, "This is True". He has a wonderful description of a keynote speech given by Neil Armstrong and the first landing on the moon. The brief mention of the Apollo 11 landing computer: "... weighing 70 pounds and having only 32KB of memory", caused me to think about our present day calculators.
Armstrong goes on to discuss the fact that the U.S. isn't turning out enough engineers and scientists to keep us on the cutting edge of technological development. It's worth the read if you have a moment.
This Is True blog - Neil Armstrong


#14

Quote:
Armstrong goes on to discuss the fact that the U.S. isn't turning out enough engineers and scientists to keep us on the cutting edge of technological development.

Rest assured, it's not only the US that have that problem...
Personally I belive the problem lies much much deper. It's not just a case of providing more and better education. It is the way society has developed over the last decades.
#15

David A. Mindell wrote a terrific book, Digital Apollo, which goes into great detail about Apollo's computers. Highly recommended if you have any interest in this.

They might not sound very impressive in terms of speed and memory capacity but they sure got the job done.


#16

Here is another great book on the Apollo Guidance Computer:

link


#17

Way Off Topic: I followed that link, read the description and as i scrolled down i saw a Haynes manual for the LEM. I clicked on that and found another Haynes shop manual. This one was for the Millennium Falcon. Haynes is at least 50% responsible for the reputation of unreliability that British bikes have. Who would believe what they say even about an imaginary spacecraft?


#18

The Haynes workshop manual for Apollo 11 is actually quite good. Far better than I would have expected.

#19

I never regretted buying Eldon C. Hall's Journey to the Moon; it's fairly expensive (but you get a discount as AIAA member) but about as close to the source as you can get.

I am still amazed how far they got with 5600 NOR-gates.

#20

The DC10-30 had a PMS computer n board which calculated with variable inputs from aircraft sensors; the best altitude to fly at for optimal fuel savings.

At the time I had the 41cx with me. The CX did the same thing with manual variable inputs as well as a plethora of other functions as well as completing a ful printed flight plan from YVR to HKG!

Total on board computing memory was 6K not including the CX with extended memory.

We have come along way baby!

The CL still is in the cockpit!

Cheers

new acronym: SOOT, "slightly off the off topic"


#21

Geoff, were these computers the Delco Carousel Inertial Navigation System computers? As a young engineer, I created installation wiring/instructions for these computers for C-130's and other military aircraft. Then Litton came out with their Ring Laser Gyro navigation computers to obsolete the older INS sytems. (SOOT => LOL!)

#22

Quote:
Total on board computing memory was 6K not including the CX with extended memory.

That also doesn't include the 30KB of ROM in the 41CX, plus any in plugin modules.

#23

We had dinner with Neil about 3 or 4 weeks ago (along with 400 or 500 hundred of our closest friends!), on the occasion of the "first light" celebration of the new Lowell Observatory 4+ meter telescope - even had our picture taken with him! The picture-taking process was pretty much a production line affair, though - my wife said it was like getting your picture taken with Santa Claus at the Mall at Christmas. (USA readers will know exactly what this means: stand in line, SMILE, and wait for your pictures to show up!!).

He gave a very nice talk about the place of science and space exploration in society - much better than I expected.

Heard today that he just had quadruple bypass heart surgery (something about "failing a stress test"!). He seems to be doing OK - great!!!


#24

oops - a few duplicate "hundreds" in there!


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