The 1969 Apollo Guidance Computer

Half a century ago, on 20 July 1969, Neil Armstrong was in the final stages of the lunar descent, just a few thousand feet above the surface, when suddenly his on-board computer indicated a critical alarm. For three nail-biting seconds it looked as if the mission would have to be aborted. However, Armstrong was given a “go” to continue, and after several more alarms the Eagle touched down safely on the Moon. Robert Wills introduces the amazing hardware and software that made up the Apollo Guidance Computer, walks you through the landing procedure step-by-step, and talks about the pioneering design principles that were used to make the landing software robust against any failure. He also explains the problems that occurred during the Apollo 11 landing, and shows you how the Apollo Guidance Computer played its part in saving the mission.

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