Apollo Guidance Computer Activities

AGC Conference 3 - Bard Turner's Introduction

Apollo Guidance Computer History Project

Third conference

November 30, 2001

Bard Turner

Bard Turner's Introduction

BARD TURNER: I'm Bard Turner and I go way back to the Polaris phase. I worked for Raytheon Chapel Street, in Newton, who were at that time making tubes, welding. This was back when the lab had started repackaging the Polaris guidance computer, which was all discrete, into what was called cord wood modules, and welding rather than soldering them. And so that was my entry. I was sent by Raytheon as a resident and working for Ed Duggan doing design work on this thing, because I had applied for it.

ELDON HALL: That was Polaris, wasn't it?

BARD TURNER: Polaris, yeah. This is really the start of the basic physical organization of the Apollo--in other words, the concepts we learned on Polaris really was the one that tracked, basically, the key points, up through Apollo. So when the Polaris program was done, I did leave Raytheon and went to work for the lab directly, just at the start of the Apollo program, and was pretty close to the design of the logic section of the Apollo computer. From the first version which was the Block 1, which was still retained a welded interconnect, but it had the micro-logic integrated circuit NOR gates, back in cans, to the final version, which was interconnect with the multi-layer boards, which were hard to make and made by one place, mainly, down in Virginia. And significant also, backplane interconnect with an automatic wiring machine, made by Gardner Denver, in Michigan, and clearly was involved with the transition over to Raytheon, to the manufacturer. So that I have been around this program, all the way back to before Apollo, which was Polaris. So that's where I am.

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