Last chapter on unidentified calculator

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It seems we finally have a positive match for our unidentified calculator. Someone at HP Museum’s forum found these two models, Intermec 9444 and 9445. If you compare these closely to the original shuttle picture, you will notice that key layout and colors match, design matches and you can even almost match the logo.

UPDATE: a close examination of a high-def picture sent by NASA to the HP forum reveals that it clearly is an Intermec 9445.

Intermec 9444 and 9445

Intermec 9444 and 9445

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Another space-faring calculator

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Are there any other brands beside HP and Elektronika that went into space?

Here’s some info from the Museum of Soviet Calculators:

A MIR calculator flew for one year in space. The property of Cosmonaut Yuri Romanenko. Offered with a letter of authentification from Romanenko’s son, in Russian with English translation. This calculator (Elektronika MK36) was used extensively by Romanenko for navigational and scientific work during his one-year flight aboard Space Station MIR in 1986 and 1987. This calculator covered more than 233,660,000 kilometers of space travel during its one-year orbital journey. A rare flown object from a Russian cosmonaut.

Elektronika Mk-36

Elektronika Mk-36

Update on unidentified calculator

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I ran this picture (also seen in this post) by the hpmuseum.org forum members:

Unknown calculator

Unknown "calculator"

There are many calculator collectors in there and I figured one of them might be able to identify the “calculator”. It seems it might not even be a calculator after all, contrary to what the NASA caption says. Member Joerg surmised that it might be a data collector such as those manufactured by Telxon:

Telxon PTC-710

Telxon PTC-710

The resemblance and design definitely are striking and I consider the “case” closed. An additional tidbit of information about the company Telxon which may be relevant to this matter was found on this webpage:

Telxon was started in Texas in 1969 as Electronic Laboratories, Inc. by engineers who developed data recording devices for NASA and the FAA, the company was a pioneer in the mobile information systems industry.

Aristo 80123: the slide rule to have

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A slide rule designed by Aristo, a slide rule manufacturer, especially for Glenn L. Martin Company‘s engineers. This particular model was designed for calculations related to space travel and rocket engineering.

Some additional details about this model on this webpage.

Aristo 80123 Front

Aristo 80123 front

Aristo 80123 back

Aristo 80123 back

Aristo 80123 gutter view

Aristo 80123 gutter view

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:

Unknown calculator

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Scene description from the Johnson Space Center digital image collection (mission STS-045; 1992):

STS-45 Payload Specialist Dirk D. Frimout (left) and Mission Specialist (MS) C. Michael Foale (shirtless) conduct Detailed Supplementary Objective (DSO) 621, Inflight Use of Florinef to Improve Orthostatic Intolerance After Flight, on the middeck of Atlantis, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 104. The purpose of DSO 621 is to evaluate the efficacy of the drug on postflight orthostatic tolerance using heart rate, blood pressure, stroke volume and other cardiovascular responses to orthostatic stress. A penlight flashlight freefloats above Frimout’s shoulder. The crewmembers are in front of the port side galley with a calculator, food containers, and DSO 621 supplies velcroed to it. Behind Foale are a camcorder and the forward middeck lockers.

Unknown calculator

Unknown calculator

Korolyov and Von Braun

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Caption for Korolyov’s slide rule

The “magician’s wand”

Sergei Korolyov used this german-made slide rule to make quick calculations. To his colleagues, Korolyov’s slide rule was a “magician’s wand.” Today’s engineers and scientists use pocket calculators for this purpose.

Manufacturer: Albert Nestler A.G.”, Germany

Korolyovs slide rule

Korolyov's slide rule

Caption for Von Braun’s slide rule

An engineer’s tool

While a manager and public figure, Wernher von Braun stayed close to the work of engineering and design, using this slide rule for calculations.

Manufacturer: Albert Nestler A.G., Germany

Von Brauns slide rule

Von Braun's slide rule

According to Wikipedia article on slide rules:

German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun brought two 1930s vintage Nestler slide rules with him when he moved to the U.S. after World War II to work on the American space program. Throughout his life he never used any other pocket calculating devices; slide rules served him perfectly well for making quick estimates of rocket design parameters and other figures.

I find it an odd twist of fate that these two towering engineers used the same slide rule model.

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