Apollo Guidance Computer Activities

AGC - ICs in the AGC

Integrated Circuits in the Apollo Guidance Computer

The decision, in 1962, to build the AGC using integrated circuits was critical to its success and a key moment in the history of computing.  Eldon Hall's Journey to the Moon recounts this decision in detail, and presented here are supplementary materials to that explanation.

These purchase orders are the most significant of those listed in Journey to the Moon Table 8 that summarizes all of the orders placed by MIT/IL in 1962 and early 1963. The book also summarizes the processes used to evaluate the integrated circuits and generate the information presented to Mr. Frick. This work was under the direction of Dave Hanley as a parallel effort with the main line AGC design under the direction of Alonso and Hopkins using core-transistor. 

These illustrate the fact that these ICs were ordered from several vendors to establish second sources and also were ordered in large enough quantities to do extensive evaluations and build the computer pictured in Fig. 49 of Journey to the Moon.

Note:  Clicking on these images brings up a larger version.

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Copies of the viewgraphs that Eldon Hall used in Nov. 1962 during a presentation to the Apollo Program Manager Charles Frick. The presentation was followed by a letter from Dr. Draper to the Apollo Program Office requesting approval to use integrated circuits in the AGC. The request was approved in a letter from NASA dated Dec. 6, 1962. (See Appendix Figs. 107-109 and Fig. 110 in Journey to the Moon).

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site last updated 12-08-2002 by Alexander Brown