Space and marketing!

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I just found out that Wally Schirra (Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronaut) did some peddling for HP in this HP-01 (of all calculators!) magazine ad.

Pretty nice ad:

HP-01

Another unknown calculator

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This time in Mission Control. You can briefly see the calculator at 6:28 in this Youtube video about the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project:

Further references to HP-65 calculator in ASTP rendez-vous manual

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These were found by a fellow HP Museum forumite. They are part 1 and part 2 of the Apollo Soyuz Test Project rendez-vous manual and include several references to the HP-65. They are in PDF format.

Part 1

Part 2

HP-65 Apollo Soyuz Test Project checklist binder

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From an auction webpage (sorry, this is all I could find):

This three-ring checklist (6″x8″) was flown used onboard Apollo-Soyuz by Deke Slayton and has extensive pencil notations in his hand. Pristine condition and unique. Fourteen pages plus front and back cover. A ‘Slayton’ Certificate of Authentication is included and states, in part: ‘This checklist book has been on loan for exhibition to the Astronaut Hall of Fame in Titusville, FL and the Air and Space Museum in Huntsville, AL. Ex-Donald ‘Deke’ Slayton Estate Collection.

HP-65 ASTP checklist

HP-65 ASTP checklist

What other calculators went into space?

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Well, I thought I had exhausted the list with the HP-35, HP-65, HP-41, HP-48 and Elektronika Mk-52. I was mistaken. Before even the HP-35, the Pickett N600-ES model travelled to the moon five times. One unit was even brought on the surface of the moon by Buzz Aldrin (here’s a virtual N600-ES).

Now I have to find what other slide rule models went in space, possibly with Mercury and Gemini missions, certainly with several russian missions. I will also have to dig into the European (French), Japanese and Chinese space programs for other possible electronic calculators.

Apollo XI - is there a slide rule in this picture?

Apollo XI - is there a slide rule in this picture?

Pickett N600-ES

Pickett N600-ES

Pickett N600-ES

Pickett N600-ES

HP-65 ad

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Here’s the classic HP-65 ad about the Apollo-Soyuz mission.

HP-65

HP-65

Complete text:

HP-65 in space with Apollo-Soyuz.

The American astronauts calculated critical course-correction maneuvers on their HP-65 programmable hand-held during the rendez-vous of the U.S. and Russian spacecraft.

Twenty-four minutes before the rendezvous in space, the American astronauts corrected their course to place their spacecraft into the same orbit as the Russian craft. Twelve minutes later, they made a second positioning maneuver just prior to braking, and coasted in to linkup.

In both cases, the Apollo astronauts made the course-correction calculations on their HP-65. Had the on-board computer failed, the spacecraft not being in communication with ground stations at the time, the HP-65 would have been the only way to make all the critical calculations. Using complex programs of nearly 1000 steps written by NASA scientists and pre-recorded on magnetic program cards, the astronauts made the calculations automatically, quickly, and with ten-digit accuracy.

The HP-65 also served as a backup for Apollo’s on-board computer for two earlier maneuvers. Its answers provided a confidence-boosting double-check on the coelliptic (85 mile) maneuver, and the terminal phase initiation (22 mile) maneuver, which placed Apollo on an intercept trajectory with the Russian craft.

Periodically throughout their joint mission, the Apollo astronauts also used the HP-65 to calculate how to point a high-gain antenna precisely at an orbiting satellite to assure the best possible ground communications.

The first fully programmable hand-held calculator, the HP-65 automatically steps through lenghty or repetitive calculations. This advanced instrument relieves the user of the need to remember and execute the correct sequence of keystrokes, using programs recorded 100 steps at a time on tiny magnetic cards. Each program consists of any combination of the calculator’s 51 key-stroke functions with branching, logical comparison, and condition skip instructions.

The HP-65 is priced at $795. See it, and the rest of the HP family of professional hand-helds at quality department stores or campus bookstores.

Apollo guidance computer and HP-65

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From www.absoluteastronomy.com, a badly formatted text about the AGC and the HP-65 which I have taken the liberty of correcting:

Dsky user interface

The user interface unit was called the Dsky. Dsky stood for display and keyboard and was usually pronounced dis-key. It had an array of numeric displays and a calculator-style keyboard. Commands were entered numerically, as two-digit numbers: program, verb, and noun. The numerals were green high-voltage electroluminescent seven segment displays. The segments were driven by electromechanical relays, which limited the display update rate (Block II used faster silicon controlled rectifiers). Three 5-digit signed numbers could also be displayed in octal or decimal. These were typically used to display vectors such as space craft attitude or a required velocity change (delta-V). This calculator-style interface was the first of its kind, the prototype for all similar digital control panel interfaces.

The first advanced desktop calculators hit the market in roughly the same time frame, with scientific and then programmable pocket calculators appearing during the following decade. The first programmable handheld calculator, the HP-65, was tried on backup computations aboard the Apollo Command/Service Module in the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975.

The command module (CM) had two Dskys; one located on the main instrument panel and another located in the lower equipment bay near a sextant used for aligning the inertial guidance platform. Both Dskys were driven by the same AGC. The lunar module (LM) had a single Dsky for its AGC. A Flight Director Attitude Indicator (FDAI), controlled by the AGC, was located above the Dsky on the commander’s console and on the LM.

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