Apollo DSKY Navigation Computer Replica Plaque - Full Size For Sale
Apollo DSKY Navigation Computer Replica Plaque - Full Size:
This is a full-scale reproduction of the faceplate for the control unit (DSKY = DiSplay KeYboard, pronounced "Diskey") of the Apollo Spacecraft Guidance and Navigation (G & N) computer, used in all the Moon landing missions 1969-1972. The actual computer was about the size of a small suitcase, weighed 70 pounds (not counting the gyroscope unit), cost 15 million dollars, had approximately 72 Kilobytes of storage, and used 55 watts of power. A modern computer with the same capabilities is smaller than a postage stamp, has about 100 times the storage capacity, uses a fraction of a watt, and costs around $2. Progress!
Until the space program, computers were room-sized behemoths, and building one that was small enough to fly in a spacecraft was a massive undertaking. During the 1960s, NASA contractors were using 60% of the nation's production of the then-new integrated circuits. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was chosen to design the Apollo navigation computers, and Raytheon built them.
Two of these units were used on each Lunar landing mission - one in the Command Module and one in the Lunar Module, with small differences based on their individual roles, such as different indicator lights. This 3D plaque depicts the DSKY used in LM 5, better known as "Eagle," the Apollo 11 LM that made the first Lunar landing on July 20, 1969. The DSKY presented data on (in the case of the LM) altitude, rate of descent, horizontal speed and so on, using the 3 electroluminescent green displays. This depiction shows what the display might have looked like during final descent to the lunar surface, including the famous "1202" alarm. At this point, the machine is still in automatic landing mode (Prog 65) but was switched to manual mode (Prog 66) seconds later.
Approximately 7" Wide X 8" tall and 1/2" thick. This depicts the faceplate only, not the entire box behind it. Has wall hanger and a facsimile of the original data plate on the back.
NOTE: This is not a working model. It has no functional parts and does not light up.
Made of custom 3D printed plastic: will show visible layer lines.
Original model by Loafers Lodge: