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34C3 – The Ultimate Apollo Guidance Computer Talk


The Apollo Guidance Computer ("AGC") was used onboard the Apollo spacecraft to support the Apollo moon landings between 1969 and 1972. This talk explains “everything about the AGC”, including its quirky but clever hardware design, its revolutionary OS, and how its software allowed humans to reach and explore the moon.

Michael Steil
Christian Hessmann

Source: https://blogema.org
Read more all post Computer Technology : https://blogema.org/computer/
  1. S. A. Ashair says

    Great beautiful minds

  2. ShakmeteMalik says

    As an x86 assembly newb, this is a ton to take in! And yet, I still feel happy that there are parts I can follow, and there are some tricks/techniques here that are giving me a different perspective on solving problems, such as 'Good practice to include error handlers that will never be used.'

    Thank you for the upload!

  3. Samir Goenka says

    Which programs timed the entries through the Van Allen Belt?

  4. Tonguç Endem says


    So which ones were used in the Saturn IB and Saturn V rockets then?

  5. Tonguç Endem says

    Here you can see a comparison of two guidance computer designs a year before and a year after the AGC. D-17B and D-37C. Both are missile guidance systems for Minuteman ICBMs. https://www.wikiwand.com/en/D-37C#/D-17B_Comparison

    There is also the Launch Vehicle Digital Computer (LVDC) from the same year with the AGC which was used in Saturn IB and Saturn V Rockets.
    Even though AGC was also used in the Saturn V, the LVDC was a completely separate computer system from the AGC, with a different architecture, different instruction-set, and different runtime software. The purpose of the LVDC was to precisely control the Saturn from shortly before liftoff until the point at which the Saturn was discarded by the command and service module (CSM). Here is the applicable information from this presentation. https://youtu.be/xx7Lfh5SKUQ?t=2767

    Here is a two-volume document from IBM on the LDVC and the AGC. This document is the resulting study when NASA contracted IBM to examine the applicability of Saturn V guidance computer equipment to the Apollo spacecraft program. Both are very interesting documents with nice diagrams and photos explaining both computers.

    Here is a small excerpt: Volume I describes equipment that will successfully fulfill the requirements of the Apollo mission. Volume II describes the equipment currently being developed for Saturn V. The essential similarities of Apollo and Saturn V equipment can provide significant time and dollar savings during the Apollo development program.

    AGC: http://apollo.josefsipek.net/Documents/IBMStudyReport-63-928-129-Volume1.pdf

    LVDC: http://apollo.josefsipek.net/Documents/IBMStudyReport-63-928-130-Volume2.pdf

  6. Tonguç Endem says

    I would watch anything Michael Steil produces without hesitation. He is like a Ben Eater on turbo overdrive with idiot-proof switched off.

  7. OffTheBeatenPath says

    He should talk faster

  8. Hard to follow talk. The slides alone are great tho.

  9. Mdmchannel says

    What is 2 kilowatts of Rom?

  10. RetroBit says

    Gibt es den Talk auch in deutscher Sprache?

  11. David Grisez says

    It is amazing that such a modest computer system in the 1960s could control flight to the moon and land on the moon and return to earth. This computer had so little memory and fewer instructions than any computer around today.

  12. Klaus Liebschner says

    Too many details…

  13. red lab says

    Do you know what kind of software is used to produce the presentation ?

  14. 956zѳʍвiє956 says

    this is gold

  15. mike jones says

    Can You Imagine if Windows Ran it ?? ROFL

  16. shakabenji says

    Talking too fast…:-( nervriding!

  17. MasthaX says

    When you have no clue about more than half of the shit but still watch the entire hour. Good stuff

  18. superspit says

    Too fast, not enjoying at all. Shame.

  19. PassiveSmoking says

    Some additional info regarding where some AGC hardware may be found. AGC 14 from the lunar module test article is being (has been?) restored after spending years in somebody’s garage.

    One AGC was repurposed as a test bed for fly by wire technology and was shoehorned into an F8 crusader to run its proof of concept FBW system. That aircraft (and presumably the computer) is to the best of my knowledge still at Dryden flight research centre.

  20. Jack MacDonald says

    What a ride! Fantastic presentation about unbelievable technology. Well done.

  21. Artur Łysik says

    20:07 I got really stuck here. Took me like ten times repeating this until I understood. X-D

  22. Johnnie Charlton says

    “Apollo guidance” lol ?

  23. Chyza says

    this whole architecture is so incredibly esoteric it baffles me how they managed to run with it for so long

  24. RetroBit says

    Leute bei allem nötigen Respekt der Arbeit gegenüber. Sowas gehört auf deutsch vorgetragen. In englischer Sprache gibt es genug.

  25. Emmanuel Corral says

    If the presenters are too fast, play it at 0.75 speed or lower.

  26. Glenn Brickhill says

    Absolutely amazing!! Enthralling and overwhelming

  27. NeeAnderTall Llatrednaeen says

    The best part was units conversion to Imperial units just for the sake of the astronauts.

  28. NeeAnderTall Llatrednaeen says

    Its sad this was only used seven times. Such a monument of genius for so little utility. If you told me I had to master this guidance computer in high school in order to become an candidate for the space program, I would've accepted the challenge. I wonder if any of the Apollo astronauts had nostalgic dreams of ever interacting with this computer if it meant they could fly to the moon again.

  29. Mark Davis says

    Fascinating! But I assume they meant KB, not KW, also its much nicer to listen to at a slightly slower playback speed, 0.75 worked for me.

  30. James Kirk says


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