Nasa / Space

IBM and UNIVAC in the Apollo Program

IBM Real Time Computer Complex

The Real-Time Computer Complex (RTCC) was an IBM computing and data processing system at NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston. It collected, processed and sent to Mission Control the information needed to direct every phase of an Apollo/Saturn mission. It computed what the space vehicle was doing and compared that with what it should be doing. RTCC worked in real-time -- so fast, there was virtually no time between receiving and solving a computing problem. IBM 7094-11 computers were used in the RTCC during NASA's Gemini program and on the first three Apollo/Saturn missions. Later, IBM System/360 Model 75J mainframes, plus peripheral storage and processing equipment, were employed. Two computers were used during a mission: one was primary; the other operated identically but as standby. (Photo courtesy IBM)

?Read more about IBM and UNIVAC in the Apollo program in Tech Broiler.


The radio telescope pictured is at Parkes, not Perth. There was a tracking station at Honeysuckle Creek near Canberra that did most of the work, but the Parkes radiotelescope was also used. see for some accuracies and inaccuracies about the film "The Dish". Honeysuckle Creek was closed down in 1981 and its dish moved to the current Deep Space Network tracking station at Tidbinbilla, also near Canberra. See A tracking station at Muchea 40Km north of Perth was used for the Mercury missions. A station at Carnarvon 800KM north of Perth was used for Gemini and Apollo. Information on both of these is available on Wikipedia