BOSTON – A Saturn V launch vehicle digital computer memory module sold for $71,335 according to RR Auction.
Produced by IBM for NASA, the module is a self-contained assembly with memory timing, drive, inhibit and sensing circuits arranged around the core array for use in the launch vehicle. It has a capacity of 4,096-word locations (28 bits each) of primary storage, and up to eight of these modules could be grouped together for an overall capacity of 32KB.
These memory modules were used in the launch vehicle’s digital computer, which was installed within the Saturn IB and Saturn V Instrument Unit (IU) to support prelaunch checkout; navigation, guidance and attitude control; flight sequence control; and orbital checkout of vehicle systems.
This device served as the brains of the Saturn flight control system and employed the first computer application and architecture in which all critical circuits were triplicated (triple modular redundancy), giving near-ultimate operative reliability.
“This memory module was essential to operations of the Saturn V systems and is an excellent piece of history associated not only with NASA but with computational innovation as a whole,” said RR Auction Executive VP Bobby Livingston.
Additional highlights from the sale include a prototype pressure suit from Project Gemini, designed for Gus Grissom, which realized $64,850.
An Apollo 15-flown CSM update checklist belonging to Commander Dave Scott achieved $58,855.
A Project Mercury spacesuit glove worn by Alan Shepard earned $43,923.
Online bidding for the Space Exploration and Aviation sale by RR Auction concluded April 21. For more information, go to www.rrauction.com.
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