Unknown calculator

Leave a comment

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

Advertisements

Another 41 in space

Leave a comment

Scene description from the Johnson Space Center digital image collection (mission STS-51F; 1985):

Loren Acton, Payload specialist, is working at the Challenger’s aft flight deck station. Acton is using a TV camera for one of the modes of the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) to record scenes out of the overhead window. Other material, such as a calculator, floats nearby. Note that the overhead window is covered over except where the lens of the camera has been placed.

HP-41

HP-41

Once I found the picture and its associated mission number, it’s just a matter of a simple search in Youtube to find actual footage of the HP-41. It can be seen at 17:32 on the left side of the video:

Another 48 in space

Leave a comment

Scene description from the Johnson Space Center digital image collection (mission STS-052; 1992):

Candid view of crewmembers Lacy Veach and James Wetherbee in the aft flight deck. Veach is holding a scientific calculator and Wetherbee is holding a prehistoric adze cutting tool.

HP-48, model unknown

HP-48, model unknown

HP-65 Apollo Soyuz Test Project checklist binder

Leave a comment

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?

Leave a comment

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-41’s Time Module

Leave a comment

Time Module

Time Module

Unbeknownst to me, the Time Module was developped at the request of NASA, according to this snippet:

HP only made two “custom” modifications to the machines NASA finally bought. First, NASA wanted a quartz clock/timer/alarm in the machine, so HP developed and debugged the Timer Module (in record time) for them. Second, NASA had HP weld shut the AC adapter hatch and the the expansion ports, to keep any static electricity from leaking in or out of the machine.

The HP-41 in space, viewed from inside Hewlett Packard II

Leave a comment

Excerpt from HP Key notes, March-May 1982 Vol. 6 No. 2:

HP-41’s Again Aboard Columbia

Unless you have been hiding in an igloo near the North Pole for the last year or so, you know all about the space shuttle Columbia, which we featured on the cover of V5N1. And, because you read every KEY NOTES, you know that astronauts use our HP-41 handheld computers onboard Columbia for various flight-related, radio-contact, and backup operations. And, no, their programs are not in the Users’ Library nor are they for sale. They contain NASA proprietary information and are for use only on the space shuttle.

For the last Columbia flight, near the end of last March, the two HP-41 computers were purchased over-the-counter by NASA from a Houston, Texas, office-equipment store, and were tested rigorously before being approved for flight. They are identical to the hundreds of thousands of HP-41’s sold since 1979.

One HP-41 computer, dedicated to what NASA calls the acquisition-of-signal program, was the only convenient means the shuttle crew had to estimate the time, location, and radio frequency of their next contact with Earth. Also, if the astronauts are awakened at night by an alarm, they can tell at a glance how long it will be before they can discuss the problem with Mission Control.

The second HP-41 computer acts as an electronic secretary for the astronauts – reminding them of daily chores with alarms and flashing messages. Each morning, the astronauts programmed their computer with five to ten alarms. That way they didn’t have to write down on paper all their scheduled activities. In other words, the HP-41 helped them to keep on top of all of their daily “housekeeping” activities.

In addition to helping the crew organize its time, the second HP-41 computer was kept ready for flight-critical, deorbit-burn calculations. Once during each orbit around the Earth, the shuttle has an opportunity to land at one of six contingency locations. During a routine flight, Mission Control supplies the shuttle crew with deorbit-burn information. Should the shuttle encounter an emergency, however, the astronauts would rely on the HP-41 for these calculations.

Two other programs – one to help balance the Columbia prior to re-rentry, and another to pin-point Earth observation sites – also are available to the crew and would be run on the HP-41’s.

The HP-41’s do not take the place of the shuttle’s larger, general-purpose computers. However, they do complement the shuttle’s larger systems and provide the crew with personal-computer convenience. Also, new and different HP-41 programs can be written between flights – quickly enough to keep up with with many of the astronauts’ changing computational needs.

We are very proud of the HP-41, and we are happy that NASA chose this handheld marvel for use on the space shuttle. Already the new Time Module is an asset to this mission and, in the future, the new HP-IL Module and the various HP-IL peripherals¬† will surely prove their usefulness. We’ll keep you informed as NASA makes more use of the HP-41 system.

Astronaut Gordon Fullerton aboard Columbia on the last flight, using his HP-41. Notice that he is sitting in midair, in the zero gravity of outer space. (Photo courtesy of NASA.)

Astronaut Gordon Fullerton aboard Columbia on the last flight, using his HP-41. Notice that he is "sitting" in midair, in the "zero" gravity of outer space. (Photo courtesy of NASA.)

Older Entries Newer Entries