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Old 11-17-2016, 04:30 PM   #1
frankbell
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Apollo Guidance Computer


Ken Fallow interviews Francois Rautenbach about the Apollo Guidance Computer. It's fascinating.

http://hackerpublicradio.org/eps.php?id=2150
 
Old 11-17-2016, 05:28 PM   #2
enorbet
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WOW! What an amazing find!... not only the modules but the articles. How did you find this? ...and Thank you!
 
Old 11-17-2016, 07:22 PM   #3
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I think one of the space modules is in the Smithsonian and there is a small write up on that computer but there was a PBS show that had the entire background on the computers used. Might still be on PBS.org.
 
Old 11-17-2016, 08:18 PM   #4
frankbell
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Glad you liked it. As I said, I found it fascinating, especially the first part focusing on the device itself.

Quote:
How did you find this? ...and Thank you!
I have been listening to HPR podcasts for years. I've even contributed a few myself. I think I first learned about it from notklaatu.

(channelling Ken Fallon) You too can podcast at HP--never mind.

Last edited by frankbell; 11-17-2016 at 08:28 PM.
 
Old 11-18-2016, 07:01 PM   #5
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Awesome - and Apollo 13 on TV tonight as well ...

I have a plane of core memory in my (home) office but that rope memory video(s) was intriguing.
 
Old 11-19-2016, 08:08 AM   #6
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Well, it didn't take much of a computer when all that you were actually doing was orbiting the earth. You could find all the computing power you needed in the studio, on the ground in Pasadena, California.

Surrounding the Earth there is a very pesky thing called the Van Allen Radiation Belts, which are fueled by the unconstrained emissions of El Sol. Beyond that, despite what the WikiPedia articles suggest, is certainly not "an area of minimal radiation." There is a fundamental reason why satellites orbit specifically where they do, and sometimes they (and their much more sophisticated electronics) get fried to a crisp. The Moon, itself, is radioactive, from the incessant exposure to the radiation energy of the Sun. And so on.

NASA will, of course, never own up to its 1969 fraud, because the thought of astronauts playing golf on the Moon within sight of an American flag is burned into the country's psyche (and, hubris). But, the more we know about actual conditions out there, the more impossible it is to sustain. Except that people don't want to own up to having been deliberately duped by officials who wanted to make JFK's pipe-dream come true on schedule.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 11-19-2016 at 08:22 AM.
 
Old 11-20-2016, 10:13 PM   #7
enorbet
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Holy Crap sundialsvcs I'm so astonished I'm hesitant to ask are you a moon landing denier? If so you really need to do some checking both on provable facts and the dubious value and likelihood of any such fraud involving so many people actually remaining uncovered long before actual launch.

As for facts do you realize that Universities all over the world have the coordinates of the reflectors placed on the moon in specific locations for the purpose of accurate laser reflection? Are you aware that recent robotic missions have photographed the moon rover and it's tracks? There is much, much more but those two should certainly be sufficient as impossible to fake, not to mention damaging in the extreme if it was possible and actually faked. Assuming that time could heal that wound is akin to assuming that actual undeniable proof that the CIA had JFK assassinated would do no harm. It is one thing to suspect high-level conspiracy but quite another to have it/them confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt. There is simply no way such a fraud could remain uncovered for long, and that was a huge concern during the Cold War propaganda/PR race. Can you imagine what would have happened if the Russians had uncovered "the truth"?. Do you imagine they didn't try?
 
Old 11-20-2016, 10:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
Holy Crap sundialsvcs I'm so astonished I'm hesitant to ask are you a moon landing denier?
sundialsvcs has stated before on these forums that the moon landing was faked. Actually, as soon as I saw the title of this thread, I wondered whether it would come up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs
Well, it didn't take much of a computer when all that you were actually doing was orbiting the earth.
I've see you bring up the computing power thing before, and I really don't understand what kind of magic computations you think would be needed that would be too much for the onboard computer. And why would landing on the moon need significantly more than taking off, orbiting and landing on Earth?
 
Old 11-20-2016, 11:07 PM   #9
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If you listen to the interview, you will find that the computing power of the Guidance Computer is greater than attributed to it by today's computer urban legends.

It was slow by today's standards, yes, but it was powerful enough to accomplish the task in question.

I am baffled by the mindset of those who think that scientists are liars.
 
Old 11-21-2016, 07:30 AM   #10
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I have no doubt that the computer is powerful and interesting. But, alas, the lunar environment ... and the entirety of space beyond our magnetosphere and ionosphere ... is simply uninhabitable by people that are supposedly landing in craft as strongly built as a telephone booth and playing golf in space suits. That big yellow thing is a nuclear fusion reactor vastly bigger than our planet ... or, all of us ... and with nothing standing between us and it except our magnetic field, it's really not that far away.

In 1963, after making an audacious promise, a beloved President was blasted to smithereens. In the years that followed, missiles became very big business and what better way to promote them than to make the President's promise actually come true ... right on time? I fully understand the impetus to do such a thing. To say such a thing. And, in all the years that followed, to support it in any way necessary. Hell, I wanted to believe it, then. I still do.

One day, I hope that we do find a way to ascend and descend smoothly from planet Earth without the use of rockets (and I strongly suspect that such technology already exists ...), and that perhaps these technologies, in addition to facilitating true "heavy lifting" and safe re-entry, will (for example) create micro-electromagnetic shields around the spacecraft which would perhaps enable a genuine traverse of inner space and a landing upon our Moon without being fried. But "Hubris and Hollywood" won't bridge the distance this time.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 11-21-2016 at 07:31 AM.
 
Old 11-21-2016, 08:02 AM   #11
michaelk
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If you are serious then explain this...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-..._Moon_landings


I've meet and talked to Gene Cernan.
 
Old 11-21-2016, 08:49 AM   #12
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Thank you michaelk for that link to the wikipedia article which lays it all out in detail. Since I mentioned the Laser Reflectors I was particularly fond of

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia-Independent Moon Landing evidence
Quoting from James Hansen's biography of Neil Armstrong, First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong:

"For those few misguided souls who still cling to the belief that the Moon landings never happened, examination of the results of five decades of LRRR experiments should evidence how delusional their rejection of the Moon landing really is."[35]
The graph of reflection spikes taken by and repeated by many labs all over the Earth due to the public availability of the coordinates are now so accurate as to estimate the size of the reflectors within an extremely small margin and one entirely consistent with originally recorded and reported dimensions.

Yes radiation is a huge concern for manned flights and in fact studies of astronauts, who were subjected to some of the most thorough health scrutinizing examinations of all time and all people, have chronicled the damage they took in comparison to an equally sized group of the earthbound population. It isn't as great as some imagine but it is measurable and one of the reasons longer flights, such as missions to the moon and beyond have entirely been robotic since Apollo.

@sundialsvcs - I've read posts by you that accept the veracity of things from our distant past History that are far less verifiable than the Apollo Missions then, now, and increasingly as time goes on. Your POV on this very seriously undermines your credibility so I strongly suggest a little real research and re-examination and re-evaluation of verifiable facts and an utter lack of credible falsification. Wow!
 
Old 11-21-2016, 04:47 PM   #13
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"Credible falsification?" Believe me, "we were going to the Moon!!" One way or another. Why? "Because President Kennedy said we would, and because we were Americans!"

Yes, I was there. Listening. Watching. Believing.

But there's really just one obstacle that's standing in our way (even today), and if you live far enough to the North (or to the South) you can see it almost every night: the Aurora.

The Aurora Borealis (and Australis) is a light show created by vastly more electrical energy than is ever created by all of the electrical generators on Planet Earth. And what is the generator which produces this? El Sol. Specifically, vast streams of ionized particles, streaming through (and, deflected by) the magnetic field of Earth. As you know, when a conductor passes through a magnetic field, electricity is produced. The enormity of that electromagnetic force is displayed in beautiful streams of lights ... awesome once you do the math. And that is only one kind of energy produced by the sun ... and, deflected away from us while being concentrated in: the Van Allen Radiation Belts.

Blithely, somehow, our pure American-ism enabled our noble astronauts ... in their unprotected space suits, riding in their unprotected command modules and lunar landers, and standing directly on the moon ... not only to pass harmlessly through this radiation belt and out into the cosmic hell that it protects us from ... but to sail right out to the moon (even though it generates radiation, itself ...), land there, take film pictures there, and sail home. Not just once, but several times.

Sorry, but a human body cannot survive a direct assault of the solar wind: an energy source powerful enough to continuously illuminate Planet Earth with an electrical discharge. Neither can photographic film. Nor the television camera (and transmitter) technologies of the day.

And shall we mention temperature? Naah, let's not even bother. The bottom line is, and for a wide variety of reasons: it is not possible for the human body to exist there, or even to survive the trip. This renders any and all debates about the photographs and so-forth ... beautifully clean and crisp with not a single streak caused by radiation ... utterly moot. The fundamental premise is impossible: not only for our human bodies, but also for our photographic film, television cameras and other equipment.

"Credible falsification?" The people of the United States wanted to believe, and the government of the United States obliged them. And, they still want to believe. Therefore, the story will be continued. Web pages "debunking" the "conspiracy theories" (always a great peer-pressure pusher ...) will always outnumber all other sites and will always come up first in your Google search. Believe what you want. It's the American Way ...

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 11-21-2016 at 05:24 PM.
 
Old 11-21-2016, 07:00 PM   #14
enorbet
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Geez sundialsvcs, resort to deflection much? Yes Americans wanted to believe but you have yet to answer how the heavily invested Soviet Russia was so conned or how the laser reflection data was and is still faked, not to mention all the 3rd party verifying data in that wiki. As for photographic quality, I recall being disappointed that the quality was so low until I discovered how hard that was. How hard that was, however, is Little League compared to the Majors of pulling off a con with so many conspirators and with evidence remaining in place essentially forever.

I "appollo-gize" for this being so long but I do have doubts that you and other conspiracy theorists will actually follow credible links and read if knowing that the data slaughters a sacred cow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by http://www.apolloarchive.com/apollo/moon_hoax_FAQ.html
Section 3 The Dangers of Space

3.1 Isn't it impossible for a human to travel through the van Allen
radiation belts and live?


The van Allen "belts" are zones of radiation where high speed particles
(such as protons and electrons) that have been trapped from the Solar
wind by the Earth's magnetic fields. The inner van Allen belt extends
from about 1,000 to 5,000 kilometers above Earth's surface, the outer
van Allen belt extends from about 15,000 to 25,000 kilometers above
Earth's surface. The radiation in the van Allen belts was a serious
concern for the Apollo program. The Apollo spacecraft were designed to
provide some protection from the van Allen radiation, but more than that
the mission was designed so that astronauts spent the least possible
amount of time in the van Allen belts. The actual amount of radiation
received by the Apollo astronauts during their passage through the van
Allen belts is difficult to determine but it is estimated to be about
2 rems (or 20 milli-Sieverts).

In comparison, a modern chest X-ray will deliver about 10-20 millirems
to the subject, radiation doses from background radiation (cosmic rays,
radon, uranium deposits, etc.) for the average human living on Earth is
on the order of 100 millirems per year, and annual doses for people
working around radiation (for example, X-ray technicians, nuclear power
plant workers, etc.) can range up to 0.4 rems per year. The "maximum
permissible dose" for radiation workers on Earth is 5 rems per year or
25 rems in a single emergency exposure. A 25-100 rem dose will increase
a person's chance of developing cancer. Around 100-200 rems, a person
will experience nausea several hours after exposure. Above 300 rems,
severe vomiting, and hemorrhaging will result nearly immediately, loss
of hair, and other health effects will result fairly rapidly, greater
than half of the people exposed to this much radiation will die within 2
months. Above 800 rems, diarrhea, dehydration, and problems with
digestive organs will result rapidly, over 90% of people exposed to this
much radiation will die within two weeks. Above several thousand rems,
death results in a few days and convulsions and nervous system failure
occurs almost immediately. So, 2 rems is certainly a lot, but by no
means would it cause instant death or illness. And in fact is most
likely to cause no noticeable immediate or long term effects.


+
3.2 Wouldn't radiation from Solar flares kill the astronauts?


Solar flares are a serious concern for anyone spending any amount of
time outside of Earth's protective magnetic field (and atmosphere). A
"solar flare" is an outburst of material from the Sun. These often
contain large amounts of protons travelling at very high speeds, this
is the predominant radiation danger from solar flares. However, only
the rarest and most powerful solar flares would be of serious concern
to the Apollo astronauts since they spent only a few days outside of
the Earth's magnetosphere. The radiation doses from solar flares
actually received by the Apollo astronauts was only a few rems (much
less than 20). As you can see from the data listed in the answer to
question 3.1, this is a serious dose, but will not cause any noticeable
immediate or long term effects (health or otherwise).


+
3.3 Aren't the temperature extremes on the Moon too much (too hot in
the Sun, too cold in the shade) for the suits the Apollo astronauts
are shown to use to be enough protection?


The Moon has no atmosphere and its days and nights last 2 weeks. This
can lead to extreme temeperatures on the lunar surface. During the day,
the average lunar surface temperature is 110 degrees C (230 F), during
the night the average temperature of the lunar surface dips down to
-150 degrees C (-240 degrees F). So, why aren't the Apollo astronauts
installed fried or frozen solid when they step foot on the Moon? First,
a bit about temperatures and heat exchange. When an object is at a
different temperature than its surroundings certain types of heat
transfer will occur so as to equalize the temperature differential and
bring the object to the same temperature as the surroundings. There are
three mechanisms of heat transfer conduction, convection, and
radiation. Heat conduction occurs when two objects touch directly, for
example, when your soft pallet comes in contact with a very cold sample
of ice cream and heat is conducted out of your sinuses and into the
cold ice cream, lowering the temperature of your sinuses dramatically
and causing an "ice cream headache". Heat convection occurs when a
moving fluid conducts heat to or from an object. For example, a hot
fireplace will warm air near the fire which will rise and be replaced
with cold air. Radiation occurs when the heat from an object is
transformed into electromagnetic radiation due to its temperature. For
example, a very hot piece of iron will radiate heat in visible
wavelengths of EM radiation so it will glow red, or even yellow or
white. Normally objects in our daily lives aren't that hot, so they
radiate in lower energy Infrared radiation.

When speaking of a temperature, it is somewhat meaningless with respect
to how "hot" that object or environment actually is. The "hotness" of
an object or environment is determined by its temperature in combination
with the mechanisms of heat transfer (and efficiency of heat transfer)
possible. For example, air is much less dense and transfers heat much
less easily than water. If a person is in air at a temperature of 50
degrees C (120 F) they will be very hot but they won't be burned.
However, if a person was in water at the same temperature they would be
scalded and injured very rapidly. Similarly, a person in air at a
temperature of 0 degrees C (32 F) would feel cold but would not be in
grave danger, but a person in water at the same temperature would become
hypothermic quite rapidly and would lose conciousness within a few
minutes at most without protection (such as a wet suit). A vacuum (as
exists on the Moon's surface) is a very poor heat conductor and in
fact the only method of heat transfer in a vacuum is radiation. A
vacuum in fact makes a very good insulator. It is a vacuum in between
the outer and inner walls of a thermos bottle that allows the thermos
to keep hot coffee hot and cold iced tea cold for a long time. The
Apollo astronauts on the Moon only had two ways to transfer heat to and
from the lunar environment, radiation from their bodies (suits) and
conduction through their boots. Both of these methods are very
inneficient and transfering heat and with proper insulation and
temperature regulation systems (miniature air conditioners and heaters)
working on the lunar surface can actually be very survivable and quite
comfortable.


+
3.4 Why haven't any of the Apollo astronauts gotten ill (or died)
from their alleged exposure to large amounts of radiation on the
Moon?


This is a good question but it has a good answer. First, see sections
3.1 and 3.2 concerning the actual radiation doses received by the
Apollo astronauts and the dangers of different radiation doses. As you
can see, the radiation doses received by the Apollo astronauts would
not be expected to result in any long or short term ill health effects.
Second, keep in mind that only 24 people went to the Moon (and only 12
of them walked on the surface). Such small numbers make for poor
statistics. Similarly, if you have a friend or relative that smokes
several packs of cigarrettes every day but lives to be very old, that
doesn't say much about the dangers of cigarrettes _on_average_ since
you are dealing with a very small samples size.


+
3.5 Wouldn't the radiation and the temperature extremes of the Moon
damage or destroy equipment, especially vulnerable items like
photographic film?


See section 3.3 about temperature extremes and why they are a non-
issue. Most equipment (including photographic and television cameras)
was designed with special protective measures so as to allow them to
operate properly in the Moon's harsh environment. As for equipment
and photographic film, the radiation on the Moon was not high enough
to damage (or even fog) film to any perceptible degree, and most other
equipment is much more rugged than photographic film.
I'm beginning to have some doubts that you, sundialsvcs, will even bother to scan the sections pertaining to your greatest concerns but I assure you that no government agency is required to verify any of the above claims. Much of it was known long before liquid fuel rockets even existed. Seriously, re-evaluate your position or go through the rest of your life with egg on your face.
 
Old 11-21-2016, 09:14 PM   #15
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First of all, the fundamental first-tactic of "crowd psychology" is to vilify the bearer of "any objecting opinion," at the exclusion of objective consideration of the opinion ... or(!) the objection itself.

In this way, you most-certainly demonstrate that you have willingly swallowed this principle quite whole: steadfastly objecting to me, personally, instead of merely (and, as objectively as you may ...) considering the objection that I bring.

"Tell me ... if you happen to disagree with me, then what might possibly such a disagreement mean between us?"

Only this one thing: "if my opinion should dare to differ with what The United States Government™ should wish to be seen as 'the [only] truth.'"

- - -
But, why obey the preferences of any Government? Truly, this whole thing is not "personal." Neither of us actually has any personal stake in it, whatsoever. "As always, the skies and the planets and the moons are merely what they are, and what they always have been since human time began." Therefore, let neither of us pretend. Neither pursue what seems to have been so-reflexively begun.

It is merely a thing from my childhood, and most likely yours. When I innocently thought that the "gallons" wheel always spun much faster than the "dollars" wheel, and when attendants always presented yet-another set of kitchen glasses in gratitude for you having just bought another "fill it up with High Test!" from them ... at 33 a gallon. And "that's the way it is" because "Uncle Walter" said it so.

"Yes, it would be wonderful, if only it could possibly be true." If only that Lunar Rover could have been a Golf Cart. If only ...

Meanwhile: here we [all] are.

The Van Allen Radiation Belts are still out there, and, like it or not, the Moon is still an unfathomably-radioactive place. Like it or not, we are still s-t-u-c-k on Planet Earth. The magnetic phenomenon which powers our magnetic compasses still preserves us ... even as it illuminates our polar sky ... even as it confronts us with an (as yet(!)) absolutely un-breachable gulf between ourselves and "the Man in the Moon."

Like it or not: if we somehow were able to venture beyond that glowing magnetic barricade, we would be fried. (Even modern-day "low earth orbit" missions are sometimes scrubbed due to the prerogatives of El Sol ... At the time, we had no idea that the 1978 mission was supposedly, and of course uneventfully, occurring during a period of peak solar-thermonuclear activity. "Uncle Walter" never breathed a word.)

Maybe someday we will overcome these celestial realities. But let us not in the meantime continue to too-fondly embrace fifty-year-old fantasies. These things will not advance the pragmatic goals of any science whatsoever. And we most-certainly should never agree to bow to any temptation to reduce this scientific debate to anything "personal." If we ever hope to actually explore anywhere beyond our own planet, we must start ... and end ... with actual(!) physics. (Whether we like them or not.)

Yes, I hope that, one day, mankind will land on the Moon ... and on Mars, and beyond. But I only want to accept a real mission to those places. I frankly don't want to waste time(!), anymore, with a 1960's political fantasy ... a fantasy that "I, too," was an unwilling part of.

Political theatrical fantasy won't get us to the Moon, let alone to the Planets or to the Stars. But, it just might hold us back.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 11-21-2016 at 09:36 PM.
 
  


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