Eagle Lander 3d (FAQ)

an 'Apollo Lander' simulation for Windows

Eagle Lander 3-d Click here to visit the publisher's site
Screen shot: An actual exterior view of the LM descending to the moon in this simulation
Introduction
  • A few facts and my caveat
Using the Simulation

Installing the Simulation (v2.1.2)

Apollo Enthusiast Area

Introduction

  • Eagle Lander 3d was written by Ron Monsen (an American living and working in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia)
    • Click Eagle Lander 3d to download and install a technically accurate Apollo Lunar Lander simulation for Windows. The Apollo 11 short mission is free but $25 will get you other missions (long and short) with much more functionality. Your patronage is important to encourage the author to develop more features. Future updates are free to licensed users.
    • Earlier versions of Eagle Lander were 2d side-scrollers
    • This version builds upon the 2d versions so that is how it got the 3d moniker
    • Version 2.15 actually supports 3d displays if you have access to the recommended devices (eg. multiple graphics cards)
  • Caveat: This web page was created my me, Neil Rieck, in order to help non-technical people enjoy EL3D. I am a huge fan of America's manned spaceflight program which includes Project Apollo. I am not connected in any way with EL3D software or it's author, Ron Monsen, but I would give my eye-teeth to get a peek at his source code. I now realize that the mental disorder known as "politics" will ensure that I will never get into space, but EL3D will allow me to recall an earlier time when such dreams were possible.
  • 2019-02-11: according to this page,  Eagle Lander 3d is now free. Why? An updated VR (virtual reality) version has just been released in beta for the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo landing. Click the hyperlink to take note of the free license key.

'Eagle Lander 3d' Simulation Features

  • Authentic LM cockpit includes:
    • AGC (Apollo Guidance Computer) with working DSKY (Display and Keyboard)
    • FDAI (Flight Director/Attitude Indicator) a.k.a. "8 ball"
    • Blue  LUNAR CONTACT  light
    • 5 working  Green LED  displays:
      • Mission Timer
      • Event Timer
      • Oxidizer Quantity
      • Fuel Quantity
      • Helium Pressure
    • 9 working toggle switches (most are defaulted to AUTO so you stand a chance of landing without reading too much documentation; but techies will want to read it all)
      • PGNS (Primary Guidance and Navigation System)
        OFF allows for a totally manual flight with no interference from the computer
        ATT Hold "attitude hold" forces the computer to keep the LM vertical while you fly it manually
        Auto allows for a totally automated landing - the computer's intended destination can still be retargeted
      • AGS (Abort Guidance System a.k.a. Abort Guidance Section)
        • this is a backup computer which is only used to rendezvous with the CSM
      • Throttle Control
        • MANUAL
        • AUTO
      • Dead Band
      • Pitch Control
      • Yaw Control
      • Row Control
      • Rate Scale
      • X-pointer Scale
    • Analog Vertical Panel Meters:
      • Thrust (%)
      • Altitude Rate (fps)
      • Altitude (feet)
      • Thrust to Weight Ratio
      • X-pointer (displays forward vs. lateral velocities)
  • mission-specific radio chatter
  • mission-specific lunar surface details (you wont believe the views when flying through the mountains)
  • real sky objects including Sun, Earth, and stars.
  • Ten views: 6-cockpit, 2-chase, 1-ground, 1-EVA
  • keyboard and joy-stick support
  • Click here to see a photo of Apollo-17 astronaut Gene Cernan flying the Eagle Lander 3d simulator.
  • Version 2.1.2 features:
     Scenarios
    Mission Flight 1 Flight 2
    Apollo 11 Long Flight starting in P64 Short Flight starting in P66
    Apollo 12 Long Flight starting in P64 Short Flight starting in P66
    Apollo 15 Long Flight starting in P64 Short Flight starting in P66
    Apollo 17 Long Flight starting in P64 Short Flight starting in P66
    LM Race LM Race
    Orbital Rendezvous and Docking CSM-LM Docked

    Supported AGC Programs
    Program Description
    P00 Idle loop
    P12 Ascent
    P20 Rendezvous
    P63 Breaking phase
    P64 Pre-Landing phase
    P66 Terminal Phase
    P68 Landed
    P70 DPS Abort
    P71 APS Abort
    Note: Yellow items are enabled in the free (unregistered) version.

    Click here to see a detailed description of how the AGC worked (includes programs, nouns and verbs
    The 1969 Apollo Guidance Computer (The National Computing Museum - UK)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1J2RMorJXM

'Eagle Lander 3d' Activities for Newbies

keystroke examples
nomenclature actual windows key
3 keyboard 3
NPAD-3 numeric keypad 3
F3 F3

Activity 1a (free): Locating Instruments and Switches on Your First Mission

"Free Version" Caveat: "Apollo-11 Short" is the only mission enabled -and- the DSKY keypad is disabled.
  1. After starting the program from Windows, select the following choices then click the "Continue" button
    Startup Window: Virtual Cockpit 2
    Mission: Apollo 11
    Flight: Short Flight P66 (will work with free version)
  2. When the program finishes initializing, click Replay: Start then hit P to pause the simulation
  3. Use the following keys to look around the cabin or get help
    F F F F F F F F F F F F
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C


    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

    Q W E
      |
    A-S-D
      |

    Z X C
    basic keystrokes
    Key Function
    F1 General Help
    caveat: some commands (like "Engine Shutdown" and "Plant Flag"
    to only name two) are wrong. Improved help can be viewed by
    clicking the HELP button just after you start the app
    F2 AGC/DSKY Program Help (for whatever AGC program is running)
    1 VCV-1: Look out the commander's window
    2 VCV-2: See commander's window & center console
    3 VCV-3: Commander's view of DSKY
    4 Cockpit View 1: Left Window / FDAI Ball - DSKY
    5 Cockpit View 2: Left Window / FDAI Ball - DSKY (Faded)
    6 Cockpit View 3: Left Window / Totally Transparent Equipment
    7-8 Spot Views 1-2
    9 Ground View (watch the LM from the surface of the Moon)
    0 EVA view (start an EVA and descend the ladder)
    SHIFT-G toggle the PGNS (primary guidance and navigation system) switch
    T toggle the THROTTLE switch
      Cockpit Spot View EVA
    Q  Move Down  Zoom In  
    W Zoom Into The Panel Rotate Up Walk Forward
    E Move Up Zoom Out  
    A Move Left Rotate Left  
    S    - Reset  
    D Move Right Rotate Right  
    X Zoom Out From The Panel Rotate Down Walk Backward
    Arrows Tilt: Up-Down-Left-Right   Tilt: Up-Down
    Turn: Left-Right
  4. Hit 3 to look down at the DSKY (Display and Keyboard). Notice you are running program 66 (PROG 66).
    1. Hit F2 to get P66 specific help.
      (this is one of the neatest features built into this simulation; whenever we punch "F2" we will get specific help for the currently running AGC program)
    2. Notice that the next program after this one is P68.
    3. Hit F2 again, or ESC, to clear the help and return to the DSKY.
  5. Press and hold E to elevate UP so you can at the switch panel above the DSKY. (alternatively, hold-down the up arrow key if using a full 105-key keyboard)
  6. Locate the PGNS switch and notice that it is set to ATT HOLD
    Optional: Repeatedly hit SHIFT-G until you see PGNS-Auto at the top of the screen. You will see and hear the switch changing position.
  7. Hit 2 and look at the switches under the gyro display
  8. Locate the Throttle switch labeled THR CONTROL and notice it is set to auto.
    Optional: repeatedly hit T until you see Throttle=Auto at the top of the screen. You will see and hear the switch changing position.
  9. Here is a short list of Windows-Keys required to operate LM-Switches. Caveat: these key assignments can be changed by editing these two files: "JoyAssign.ini" (which only affects keys used when a Joystick is active) and "KeyboardOnly.ini". Operating these keys should result in hearing a click and seeing the key move.

    Flight Controls (from official documentation)
    With Joystick Keyboard Only Command
    None NPAD4 Roll Left
    None NPAD6 Roll Right
    None NPAD8 Pitch Down
    None NPAD2 Pitch Up
    NPAD1 NPAD1 Yaw Left
    NPAD3 NPAD3 Yaw Right
    F8 F8 Translate Forward (+Z)
    F7 F7 Translate Backwards (-Z)
    F9 F9 Translate Left (-Y)
    F10 F10 Translate Right (+Y)
    F12 F12 Translate Up (+X)
    F11 F11 Translate Down (-X)

    Cockpit Switches (from official documentation)
    With Joystick Keyboard Only Command
    + + Rate of Descent (ROD) Up (see Vista Caveat below)
    = = Rate of Descent (ROD) Up (see Vista Caveat below)
    R R Rate Scale Toggle
    SHIFT+D SHIFT+D Deadband Toggle
    SHIFT+R SHIFT+R Roll Mode Toggle
    SHIFT+P SHIFT+P Pitch Mode Toggle
    SHIFT+Y SHIFT+Y Yaw Mode Toggle
    SHIFT+A SHIFT+A AGS Toggle
    SHIFT+P SHIFT+P PGNS Toggle (Primary Guidance and Navigation System)
    H H X-Pointer Toggle
    T T Man/Aut ThrottleToggle
  10. When you're finished looking around, hit key 5 or 2 to change the view then hit P to un-pause the simulation and continue descent to the lunar surface.
  11. Optional Stuff (Post Landing)
    1. After landing, hit 3 to look at the DSKY
    2. Make sure the NumLock light on your keyboard is illuminated; if it is not, hit the NumLock key until it is
    3. On your numeric keypad you should enter V37EN68E* (Verb, NPAD-37, Enter, Noun, NPAD-68, Enter, NPAD-star) to complete the post landing procedures.
      Alternatively, you may click the DSKY buttons with your mouse to enter:
          VERB 37
          NOUN 68
          PROCEED
      DSKY Key DSKY Nomenclature Windows Key
      VERB V V
      NOUN N N
      ENTR E NPAD-enter
      0-9 0-9 NPAD-0 to NPAD-9
      PRO/ceed STAR NPAD-star
      RSET PERIOD NPAD-period
  12. Once you're on the surface, hit 0 (zero) to start an EVA
  13. Press either the left or right arrow keys until you are facing the back of the LM
  14. Press X to back out of the LM and descend the ladder
  15. Turn to the right and hit W to walk forward a few steps
  16. Hit F to plant the flag
  17. Hit Esc several times to end the simulation
        -OR-
    Jump down to activity-5 (Ascent From the Moon)

Activity 1b (free): Apollo-11 Lands in the Sea of Tranquility (with 1201 alarm)

  1. After starting the program from Windows, select the following choices then click the "Continue" button
    Startup Window: Virtual Cockpit 2
    Mission: Apollo 11
    Flight: Long Flight P64 (only works with registered version)
  2. When the sim finishes initializing, click Flight: Start then hit P to pause the simulation
  3. Repeatedly hit SHIFT-G until you see PGNS=Auto at the top of the screen. You will see and hear the switch changing position.
  4. Repeatedly hit T until you see Throttle=Auto at the top of the screen. You will see and hear the switch changing position.
  5. When you're finished looking around, keep looking at the DSKY while you hit P to continue the simulation
  6. Within 50 seconds the guidance computer will display a 1201 alarm so hit NPAD-period to reset the guidance computer
    (note: 1201 is an alarm indicating that the computer is overloaded with data coming from the rendezvous radar which is part of the abort guidance system)
  7. Now hit 1 to look out the window and enjoy the automated landing.
    optional...
  8. The computer would have taken the crew into a boulder field. When you are about 500 feet (what, no meters?) off the surface you'll need to repeatedly hit SHIFT-G until you see PGNS=Attitude-Hold then use and "=" (increase) or "-" (decrease) to throttle engine power so you can fly over the boulder field. Now you will use the joystick or numeric keypad to control the landing:
    Pitch - Roll - Yaw
      8       Pitch Down  
    4 5 6   Roll Left Center Roll Right
    1 2 3   Yaw Left Pitch Up Yaw Right
    Windows-Vista Caveat: there are two keyboard definition files
    1. KeyboardOnly.ini
      Rate Of Descent UP key=EQUALS (which is under the plus symbol)
      Rate of Descent DOWN key=MINUS
    2. KeyboardOnly IDE.ini
      Rate Of Descent UP key=O (oh)
      Rate of Descent DOWN key=I (eye)
    With Windows-Vista you will be probably be using file "KeyboardOnly.ini" but will find that the EQUALS key is not being recognized by EagleLander3d. Just edit this file like so:
    Rate Of Descent UP key=F12 (which is just above EQUALS)
    Rate of Descent DOWN key=F11 (which is just above MINUS)
  9. When you hear or see "contact light", hit K to kill the main engines
  10. hit 3 to look at the DSKY then use your keypad to enter V37EN68E* (Verb, NPAD-37, Enter, Noun, NPAD-68, Enter) followed by PRO/ceed (NPAD-star) to complete the post landing procedures. Alternatively, you may click these buttons with your mouse.
  11. Hit any key between 1 and 9 to look around
  12. Click here for ascent procedures

Activity 2 (licensed): Apollo-12 Lands in the Ocean of Storms (with EVA to Surveyor-3)

  1. After starting the program from Windows, select the following choices then click the "Continue" button
    Startup Window: Virtual Cockpit 2
    Mission: Apollo 12
    Flight: Short Flight P66 (only works with registered version)
  2. When the sim finishes initializing, click Replay: Start then sit back and watch the astronauts land Apollo 12 in the Ocean of Storms.
  3. Now hit 0 (ZERO) to begin an EVA.
  4. Press the left arrow key to rotate 180 degrees then press X so you can back out of the LM and crawl down the ladder.
  5. Hit the right arrow key a few times to turn to the right then hit W to walk forward a bit.
  6. Hit F to plant the flag (it will also be visible from the cockpit view by hitting 1. Hit 0 to go back to the EVA)
  7. Notice the crater on the port side of the LM containing Surveyor-3 which is 200 meters (650 feet) away.
    Note: Landing this close to Surveyor-3 is a spectacular example of engineering and navigation
  8. Press W to walk towards it. It will require about 2.5 minutes to get there.

Activity-3 (licensed): Apollo-15 Lands on Hadley Plain (with EVA to Hadley Rill)

  1. After starting the program from Windows, select the following choices then click the "Continue" button
    Startup Window: Virtual Cockpit 2
    Mission: Apollo 15
    Flight: Short Flight P66 (only works with registered version)
  2. When the sim finishes initializing, click Replay: Start then sit back and watch the astronauts land Apollo 15 on Hadley Plain.
  3. Now hit 0 (ZERO) to begin an EVA.
  4. Press the left arrow key to rotate 180 degrees then press X so you can back out of the LM and crawl down the ladder.
  5. Press your left arrow key to rotate another 180 degrees until the ladder is at your back. Make sure the shadow of the LM is directly in front of you.
    Note: please stop to consider the following planetary mechanics.
    1. Close your eyes and imagine a spinning Earth in front of your with the north pole at the top and the Sun to your right. The moon is behind the Earth.
    2. Since the Sun appears to move across Earth's sky from East to West, the Earth must be spinning West to East (or counter-clockwise as viewed from Earth's North pole).
    3. Apollo rockets were launch toward the East so the surface speed of the spinning spin Earth would be added to the rocket's velocity.
    4. Now imagine the same closed-eye view as before but slightly higher so you can now see the moon behind the Earth. When Apollo was launched toward the moon, it was sent on a figure-8 trajectory so the moon's gravity could more easily capture the space craft. Apollo was aimed at the left-hand side of the moon (or where it would be 3-days later), it then would travel around the backside, then would pop out on the right hand side of the moon as seen from Earth. So Apollo in orbit around the moon is in the opposite direction than Apollo's orbit around Earth. This means that Apollo landed on the moon coming out of the Moon's East with the Sun behind the LM. Since the LM begins the landing sequence with the ladder facing up, after pitch over the ladder will almost always point directly West. 
    5. Visit this site ( http://www.google.com/moon/ ) then zoom into the Apollo-15 landing sit. Notice that Hadley Rill is directly to the West.
  6. See the mountain slightly to the left of the top of the LM shadow? This mountain is on the other side of Hadley Rill.
  7. Press W to walk towards it. It will require about 30 minutes to get there.

Alternate variation: Why walk to Hadley Rill when you can fly there?

  1. After starting the program from Windows, select the following choices then click the "Continue" button
    Startup Window: Virtual Cockpit 2
    Mission: Apollo 15
    Flight: Short Flight P66 (only works with registered version)
  2. When the sim finishes initializing, click Flight: Start then hit P to pause the simulation
  3. Repeatedly hit SHIFT-G until you see PGNS=Auto at the top of the screen. You will see and hear the switch changing position.
  4. Repeatedly hit T until you see Throttle=Auto at the top of the screen. You will see and hear the switch changing position.
  5. Now  hit P to continue the simulation
  6. Fly until you hear the phrase LPD (landing position designator)
  7. Now hit P to pause the simulation
  8. hit 3 to look at the DSKY and notice that REGISTER ONE is displaying "99-55". This means you will land at the position associated with mark 55 on the LPD and you  have 99 seconds to tweak the PGNS
  9. hit 1 to look out the commander's window and look at mark 55 on the vertical red line etched on the window (known as the LPD or Landing Position Designator). Look through the marks corresponding to 55 and this is where the PGNS will take you). Hitting 8 will subtract 0.5 degrees while hitting 2 will have the opposite effect.
  10. Now hit 3 to look at the DSKY.
  11. Hit P to continue the simulation
  12. Hit PRO/ceed (NPAD-star) to accept.
  13. Hit NPAD-8 seventeen times which will force the PGNS to perform a longer landing (17 represents an 8.5 degree correction to LPD marking)
    1. You will not see these changes on the DSKY display
    2. Caveat: hitting the key eighteen times will cause to to land on the inside edge of Hadley Rill which is fun to watch from the Starboard-side exterior view (hit 8 then press A). You will be on a 30 degree descending slope.
  14. You are now a short walk from the edge of Hadley Rill

Another Variation: "How Low Are We? (compared to the mountains)" and "Lets Do an Abort"

  1. After starting the program from Windows, select the following choices then click the "Continue" button
    Startup Window: Virtual Cockpit 2
    Mission: Apollo 15
    Flight: Short Flight P66 (only works with registered version)
  2. When the sim finishes initializing, click Flight: Start then hit P to pause the simulation
  3. Hit 8 to go to Spot View 2
  4. Hold down A until you have rotated through 90 degrees. You are looking at a mountain top that is as high as we are. Yikes!
  5. Hold down A until you have rotated through 180 degrees. Wow, that mountain top is just as high.
  6. Hold down A until you have rotated through 90 degrees. You should now be looking at the back of the LM
  7. Now hit P to continue the simulation.
  8. Hit CTRL-A to abort the landing. The Descent Stage will now jettison.

Activity 4 (licensed): Ascent from the Moon

Caveat: In version 2.1.2 this section is a little flaky so you must follow theses instructions to the letter. Failure to do so will result in you hearing ascent audio but not seeing the associated video.

  1. While on the moon, hit 3 to look at the DSKY.
  2. Make sure the NumLock light on your keyboard is illuminated; if it is not, hit the NumLock key until it is
  3. If you've just landed on the moon then be sure to enter the post landing procedures by keying:
    • V37EN68E (Verb, NPAD-37, Enter, Noun, NPAD-68, Enter)
      followed by:
    • PRO/ceed (NPAD-star)

  4. The following information was derived (and slightly modified) from the official simulator documentation
  5. Prepare to start the Ascent Program by entering V37E12E. (I am guessing that NOUN is assumed after VERB because this key sequence produces the same results: V37EN12E)
  6. Hit PRO/ceed (NPAD-star) for the first time.
    • The desired downrange velocities are shown in the appropriate registers (hit F2 for P12 specific display details).
    • You are now t-minus 60 seconds and counting.
  7. Hit PRO/ceed (NPAD-star) for a second time.
    • A checklist item 203 appears in DSKY Register One (under the white horizontal bar). This is an indication that you should double-check your PGNS switch making sure it is set to auto (this would also be in your astronaut crib sheets)
    • repeatedly hit SHIFT-G until you see the message PGNS=Auto
  8. Hit PRO/ceed (NPAD-star) for a third time.
    • The DSKY Register One will shift back to the countdown in seconds.
  9. At t-minus 35 seconds the DSKY display will blank out while AGC does intense final computations.
  10. At t-minus 29 seconds the DSKY display reappears and counts down to 5 seconds.
  11. You will hear the astronaut start counting down from 9 to 5.
  12. This step is very important - if you mess it up you'll hear ascent audio but won't see ascent video
    • The DSKY blanks again and a flashing 99 is displayed in the VERB indicator with a 74 in the NOUN indicator. The AGC is asking you to approve the launch.
    • Quickly hit PRO/ceed (NPAD-star) for a fourth time. This will cause the DSKY to resume displaying the countdown sequence. The astronaut will call out "PROCEED"
  13. Quickly punch one of the following main keyboard keys:
    • 1 commander's window
    • 2 commander's panel view-1
    • 4 commander's panel view-2
    • 7 external rear view-1 (to see the ascent stage separate from the descent stage)
    • 8 external rear view-2 (a better view of pitch over)
  14. At t-minus zero, ignition occurs and the ascent stage will blast off. After a short vertical ascent, the LM pitches forward to begin its acceleration into lunar orbit. You can ride along for awhile but EL3D 2.1.2 does not take you all the way into lunar orbit. As you leave the scenery area you will see the moon but you are also flying into the dark side of the moon.

Activity 5 (licensed): Undocking / Docking with a CSM

  1. After starting the program from Windows, select the following choices then click the "Continue" button
    Startup Window: Virtual Cockpit 1
    Mission: Orbital
    Flight: CSM-LM Docked (only works with registered version)
  2. The Blue Danube is playing because the authors have a sense of humor and they want us to remember the rendezvous sequence in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey when the Pan Am Clipper is docking with double-wheeled space station in Earth orbit
  3. When the sim finishes initializing, hit P to un-pause (is this a bug in the sim?)
  4. Hit 7 to move to Spot-View-1 (you are now above the docked CSM-LM looking down at the moon)
  5. Hit CTRL-D to undock
    • you will see an Undocked notification
    • a small amount of gas trapped between the CSM and LM will push you apart
  6. Hit 2 to move to Virtual-Cockpit-2 (you'll be looking at the rendezvous and docking target)
    1. You may need to hit Q to move back from the alignment scope which will increase your field of view.
    2. Alternatively, hit W to move closer to the eyepiece.
  7. Wait 15-20 seconds, then hit NPAD-INSERT 15 times to stop your retreat (hit 4 then use the X-pointer display to get your velocity down to zero which is in the center of the display)
  8. Hit NPAD-INSERT 15 more times to re-dock with the CSM.
    • After a successful contact you'll see the Capture notification.
    • Next you will see a Retracting Probe notification then will hear the strangest sound as ships are pulled together
    • Then you will see a Hard Dock notification
  9. Here are the translation keys for a full-size keyboard:

    On older "full size" keyboards this keypad sits between the main keypad and the numeric keypad
    INSERT HOME PAGE UP
    DELETE END PAGE DOWN

    UP
    LEFT DOWN RIGHT
    X+ Y+ Z+
    X- Y- Z-
         
         
    Note: at first glance, X-axis may seem to be the wrong label until you realize that you are looking out the top of the LM

    On newer "full size" keyboards this keypad sits between the main keypad and the numeric keypad
      INSERT BREAK
      HOME END
      DELETE PAGE UP
      PAGE DOWN
      UP  
    LEFT DOWN RIGHT
    X+ Y+
    Y+ Y-
    X- Z+
    Z-
       
       
  10. Here are the translation keys for an IBM Thinkpad (laptop)
     
    PrtSc ScrLk PAUSE
    F10 F11 F12
    INSERT HOME PAGE UP
    DELETE END PAGE DOWN
    X+ Y+ Z+
    X- Y- Z-

'Eagle Lander 3d' Links:

Windows-Vista Installation Problems (v2.1.2)
  • If you experience problems installing EL3d version 2.1.2 on Windows-Vista then download this vistapatch.exe
    1. Right click on vistapatch.exe then select "Run as Administrator". You will usually receive some errors, just ignore them and continue to the end.
    2. Right click on setup212.exe then select "Run as Administrator". You should not see any errors.
    3. Right click on vistapatch.exe then select "Run as Administrator". The next menu will allow you to REPAIR or REMOVE. Selecting REPAIR should install with no errors.

Windows-7

  • Windows-7 is a very close cousin of Windows-Vista. You don't believe me? Then just enter Start>Run>cmd on both platforms then view the title line:
    • Windows-Vista: Microsoft Windows [Version 6.0.6002]
    • Windows-7    : Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7600]
    So the Vista instructions for 212 should work without any problems on Windows-7.
     
    Caveat: Windows-7 usually is installed on a larger system with more memory. Instead of fooling around with 212 you might wish to try 215 beta
Windows-Vista Keyboard Problem
Windows-Vista Caveat: there are two keyboard definition files
  1. KeyboardOnly.ini
    Rate Of Descent UP key EQUALS (which is under the plus symbol)
    Rate of Descent DOWN key MINUS
  2. KeyboardOnly IDE.ini
    Rate Of Descent UP key O (oh)
    Rate of Descent DOWN key I (eye)
With Windows-Vista you will be probably be using file "KeyboardOnly.ini" but will find that the EQUALS key is not being recognized by EagleLander3d. Just edit this file like so:
Rate Of Descent UP key F12 (which is just above EQUALS)
Rate of Descent DOWN key F11 (which is just above MINUS)

2.1.5 (beta) News

  • update: 2009-07-11
    • The members of the EagleLander3D Group just received a note from Ron Monsen indicating that a new release (probably 2.1.5) is just around the corner. Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5wnbf0y0dQ to watch a 2-minute video preview.
    • This is just in time for the 40th anniversary of the Apollo-11 landing which took place on July 20, 1969.
    • Visit www.EagleLander3d.com to see new high-rez screen images from version 2.1.5
  • update: 2009-12-28 to 2010-05-18
    • EagleLander3D Group members are currently testing beta versions of EagleLander3d 2.1.5
    • this new version is quite a bit larger due to several changes:
      • higher resolution images (lunar surface, LM consoles, space craft external appearance, etc.)
      • support for larger graphics cards (2.1.2 didn't know what to make of cards with more than 1 GB of video memory)
      • more missions including PDI From Orbit (P63)
      • this code was compiled to MSIL (runs on "Microsoft's .NET Framework" rather than x86 binary)
        Version Size Comments Release Date
        2.1.2    62 MB older stable release  
        2.1.5 321 MB newer beta releases 2009-12-28
        2.1.5 A 320 MB    
        2.1.5 B 323 MB    
        2.1.5 C 377 MB    
        2.1.5 D 381 MB    
        2.1.5 E 373 MB   2010-02-16
        2.1.5 F 373 MB   2010-05-18
      • Beta versions can be downloaded from here: http://www.eaglelander3d.com/downloads/ but beware that a license is still require to activate anything other than the Apollo 11 mission (the license code from 212 enables 215). Also, since this is a beta release you had better join EagleLander3D Group so that you receive problem/solution emails.

v2.1.5 (beta-F) Features and Missions

Unofficial List of Technical Changes

  • much larger binaries for the following two reasons:
    • all mission images have been updated to hi-rez
    • the mission simulation is now dependent upon the .NET Framework rather than x86 native instructions. This change is a recommendation made by Microsoft to all developers who want their apps to run on versions of Windows not yet created (Microsoft is guaranteeing than the .NET Framework will always be ported properly)
  • will now support graphic adapters with memories larger than 1 GB (when 2.1.2 was released, most computer systems did not have this much memory let alone graphic adapters)
  • unofficial support for 3d (requires 3-d goggles supported by your graphics card)
Missions/Flights (fewer missions than v2.1.2)
  • Apollo-11
    •  Orbital Flight Docked
    • PDI/P63 Long Flight
    • P63/P64 Flight
    • P66 Landing Approach
    • PDI from Orbit
    • Rendezvous
  • Apollo-12
    •  Long Flight P64
    • Short Flight P66
  • Apollo-15
    • Orbital Flight Docked
    • P63 Long Flight
    • P66 Landing Approach
  • LM Race
    •  LM Race

'Eagle Lander 3d' Graphics Card Caveat

  • Graphics hardware with "3d acceleration" is required to run this simulation. The graphics subsystem must have a least 128 MB of its own memory. So Do This First: download and install the free version of Eagle Lander 3d to ensure you have sufficient hardware. Consider using PC-WIZARD to see what you've got under the hood.

Graphics Technology Basics

  • For certain applications, a GPU (graphics processing unit) with "3d acceleration" (ATI Radeon, NVIDIA GeForce, etc.) is much more important than a fast CPU (central processing unit).
    • Your graphics card usually has more memory than your computer
    • Your graphics card usually has faster memory (GDDR3 or GDDR4 or GDDR5) than your computer (DDR or DDR2 or DDR3)
    • While a Pentium class computer may have one-to-four streaming processors (MMX, SSE, etc) depending upon the number of cores, most graphics cards employ hundreds to thousands (click here for more details)
  • Many newer PCs come with an embedded GPU installed on the motherboard. If this graphics subsystem doesn't have at least 128 MB of memory of its own memory (el-cheapo systems force the graphics system and CPU to share memory), or your graphics images are herky-jerky, then you can almost always add an external graphics card which contains more powerful graphics hardware.
  • If you need to add a graphics card then you first need to know something about your motherboard before you go shopping.
    Motherboard Required Slot
    Newer PCI-e slot (sometimes referred to as PCI Express
    Slightly Older AGP
    Much Older PCI
    Note that none of these hardware technologies are slot-interchangeable.

'Eagle Lander 3d' Multi-core Caveat

  • I have tested Eagle Lander 3d (v2.1.2) on many systems including: single CPU, dual-core, and quad-core. All my computers run folding@home in the background with one folding-client attached to each CPU/core. For some reason I don't yet understand, all folding-clients must be stopped in order to properly run Eagle Lander 3d on a dual-core or quad-core system. Freeing-up only one core is not good enough. Although the video and audio always initializes, there is usually something wrong with the keyboard and mouse responses.
     
  • Good News: Using Eagle Lander 3d (v2.1.5) on multi-core platforms is a better experience than v2.1.2. Now running the simulation while science clients (folding@home and BOINC) are also running only results in a slightly lower display frame rate (FPS).

Other Space Simulator Links:

The following resources are not required when using 'Eagle Lander 3d'.
This stuff is targeted at "Space Enthusiasts", "NASA Nerds" and "Guidance Geeks"

DSKY + AGC (Apollo Guidance Computer) General Information

Excerpt: The on-board Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) was about 1 cubic foot with 2K of 16-bit RAM and 36K of hard-wired core-rope memory with copper wires threaded, or not threaded, through tiny magnetic cores. The 16-bit words were generally 14 data bits (or two op-codes), 1 sign bit, and 1 parity bit. The cycle time was 11.7 micro-seconds. Programming was done by using an assembler to build an interpreter. Scaling was fixed point fractional. An assembly language ADD-instruction took about 23.4 micro-seconds. The operating system featured a multi-programmed, priority/event driven asynchronous executive packed into 2K of memory." -- Apollo 11: 25 Years Later by Fred H. Martin, Intermetrics, Inc., July 1994

Introduction

Apollo Guidance Computer @ Wikipedia
One Giant Leap: The Apollo Guidance Computer @ Dr. Dobb's

NASA History

www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/computers/Part1.html Computers in Spaceflight: The NASA Experience
www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/ap15fj Apollo 15
www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/computers/Ch2-5.html Apollo guidance computer: Hardware

Apollo Lunar Surface Journal

Apollo Glossary  
Apollo-11 Technical Air-to-Ground Voice Transcription  
Apollo-11 Lunar Landing Information includes information about "413 is in" which relates to AGS (Abort Guidance System)
Apollo-12 EVA Voice Transcription  

Non-NASA Sources

apollotribute2.blogspot.com A Tribute to Apollo (Part 2) Including Apollo Star Charts
www.taoyue.com/explore/orbiter.html Landing on the Moon - The Orbiter Space Simulator: An Appreciation
www.clavius.org Debunked Conspiracy Theories
www.clavius.org/techcomp.html Debunked Computer Technology Myths

DSKY + AGC (Apollo Guidance Computer) Technical Information

Note: sometimes AGC (Apollo Guidance Computer) is referred to as AFC (Apollo Flight Computer)

history.nasa.gov  
history.nasa.gov/computers/Ch2-1.html The need for an on-board computer
history.nasa.gov/computers/Ch2-2.html MIT chosen as hardware and software contractor
history.nasa.gov/computers/Ch2-3.html The Apollo computer systems
history.nasa.gov/computers/Ch2-4.html Evolution of the hardware: Old technology versus new block I and Block I designs
history.nasa.gov/computers/Ch2-5.html The Apollo guidance computer: Hardware
history.nasa.gov/computers/Ch2-6.html The Apollo guidance computer: Software
history.nasa.gov/computers/Ch2-7.html Using the AGC
history.nasa.gov/computers/Ch2-8.html The Abort Guidance System
history.nasa.gov/computers/Ch2-9.html Lessons Learned
https://history.nasa.gov/afj/ Apollo Flight Journal (entry point to individual flights)
history.nasa.gov/afj/compessay.html Apollo Flight Journal (includes a table of program numbers like P64 + P66)
history.nasa.gov/alsj/a12/a12.landing.html Apollo 12 EVA to Surveyor-3 - this document claims it's less than 400 f (122 m) away from the LM
nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/lunar/surveyor3data.html Surveyor-3 mission information
ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/
 19790076715_1979076715.pdf
Apollo Guidance Computer (Raytheon) April, 1963
ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/
 19780070361_1978070361.pdf
Apollo Guidance and Navigation (MIT Instrumentation Lab) August 1964
ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/
 19740072134_1974072134.pdf
Apollo Guidance and Navigation (MIT Instrumentation Lab) Eldon C Hall - May,1963
hrst.mit.edu/hrs/apollo/public/index.htm more info from M.I.T.
www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/computers/contents.html Computers in Spaceflight: The NASA Experience
www.ibiblio.org/apollo/ Virtual AGC and AGS
www.ibiblio.org/apollo/yaDSKY.html Virtual DSKY
www.ibiblio.org/apollo/links.html Virtual AGC and AGS Links
ed-thelen.org/comp-hist/vs-mit-apollo-guidance.html M.I.T. Apollo Guidance Computer
www.doneyles.com/LM/Tales.html Tales From the Lunar Module Guidance Computer (by Don Eyles)
www.apollosaturn.com/Lmnr/contents.htm  
apollo.spaceborn.dk  
www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/a11.1201-fm.html
by Peter Adler and Don Eyles
includes info about program alarms 1201 and 1202
comment: pin-headed reporters will have you believe that someone had mis-programmed the computer (AGC). This notion is completely wrong. In fact, the AGC was truly fault-tolerant and continued to function even though it was too busy to process all the incoming information. These alarms basically mean "I am too busy to do all you are asking of me so I'm only go to pay attention to the important stuff". To make matters worse, many people, including Apollo astronauts, were not provided with a correct understanding of the Rendezvous Radar mode switch which has these three labels: AUTO TRACK, SLEW, and LGC. Everyone thought that whenever the switch was not set to LGC, it was connected to the Abort Guidance Computer. Fact: the AGC was overloaded even when LGC was not selected because of a hardware interface problem between the AGC and the Grumman manufactured Rendezvous Radar. Both systems were powered by individual A.C. power supplies running at 800 Hz which where not synchronized to each other. This problem had been identified by many people before Apollo 11 but had slipped through the cracks. On top of that, the quick fix suggested before lunar ascent was to depower the Rendezvous Radar which kept it quiescent (unable to interrupt the AGC) so this is proof that Buzz Aldrin did not cause the 1201-1202 affair.
astro.uni-tuebingen.de/~wilms/computers/apollo.html  

LGC Program Codes

  • Table #1 - LGC Programs (Apollo 14), Luminary 1D.
    Number Title
    Service
    P00 LGC Idling
    P06 PGNCS Power
    P07 Systems Test (Non-flight)
    Ascent
    P12 Powered Ascent Guidance
    Coast
    P20 Rendezvous Navigation
    P21 Ground Track Determination
    P22 RR Lunar Surface Navigation
    P25 Preferred Tracking Attitude
    P27 LGC Update
    Pre-thrusting
    P30 External delta-V
    P32 Co-elliptic Sequence Initiation (CSI)
    P33 Constant Delta Altitude (CDH)
    P34 Transfer Phase Initiation (TPI)
    P35 Transfer Phase Midcourse (TPM)
    Thrust
    P40 DPS Thrusting
    P41 RCS Thrusting
    P42 APS Thrusting
    P47 Thrust Monitor
    Alignments
    PP51 IMU Orientation Determination
    P52 IMU Realign
    P57 Lunar Surface Alignment
    Descent & Landing
    P63 Landing Maneuver Braking Phase
    P64 Landing Maneuver Approach Phase
    P66 Rate of Descent Landing (ROD)
    P68 Landing Confirmation
    Aborts & Backups
    P70 DPS Abort
    P71 APS Abort
    P72 CSM Co-elliptic Sequence Initiation (CSI) Targeting
    P73 CSM Constant Delta Altitude (CDH) Targeting
    P74 CSM Transfer Phase Initiation (TPI) Targeting
    P75 CSM Transfer Phase Midcourse (TPM) Targeting
    P76 Target delta V.
  • Table 2 - Selected Major Verb Codes (Apollo 14)
    Verb codes
    05 Display Octal Components 1, 2, 3 in R1, R2, R3.
    06 DDisplay Decimal (Rl or R1, R2 or R1, R2, R3)
    25 Load Component 1, 2, 3 into R1, R2, R3.
    27 Display Fixed Memory
    37 Change Program (Major Mode)
    47 Initialize AGS (R47)
    48 Request DAP Data Load Routine (RO3)
    49 Request Crew Defined Maneuver Routine (R62)
    50 Please Perform
    54 Mark X or Y reticle
    55 IIncrement LGC Time (Decimal)
    57 Permit Landing Radar Updates
    59 Command LR to Position 2
    60 Display Vehicle Attitude Rates (FDAI)
    63 Sample Radar Once per Second (R04)
    69 Cause Restart
    71 Universal Update, Block Address (P27)
    75 EEnable U, V Jets Firing During DPS Burns
    76 Minimum Impulse Command Mode (DAP)
    77 Rate Command and Attitude Hold Mode (DAP)
    82 Request Orbit Parameter Display (R30)
    83 Request Rendezvous Parameter Display (R31)
    97 Perform Engine Fail Procedure (R40)
    99 Please Enable Engine Ignition
  • Table 3 - Selected Major Noun Codes (Apollo 14)
    Noun Codes
    111 TIG of CSI
    13 TIG of CDH
    16 Time of Event
    18 Auto Maneuver to FDAI Ball Angles
    24 Delta Time for LGC Clock
    32 Time from Perigee
    33 Time of Ignition
    34 Time of Event
    35 Time from Event
    36 TTime of LGC Clock
    37 Time of Ignition of TPI
    40 (a) Time from Ignition/Cutoff
    (b) VG
    (c) Delta V (Accumulated)
    41 Target Azimuth and Target Elevation
    42 (a) Apogee Altitude
    (b) Perigee Altitude
    (c) Delta V (Required)
    43 (a) Latitude (+North)
    (b) Longitude (+East)
    (c) Altitude
    44 (a) Apogee Altitude
    ((b) Perigee Altitude
    (c) TFF
    45 (a) Marks
    (b) TFI of Next/Last Burn
    (c) MGA
    54 (a) Range
    (b) Range Rate
    (c) Theta
    61 (a) TGO in Braking Phase
    (b) TFI
    (c) Cross Range Distance
    65 Sampled LGC Time
    66 LR Slant Range and LR Position
    68 (a) Slant Range to Landing Site
    (b) TGO in Braking Phase
    (c) LR Altitude-computed altitude
    69 Landing Site Correction, Z, Y and X
    76 (a) Desired Horizontal Velocity
    (b) Desired Radial Velocity
    (c) Cross-Range Distance
    89 (a) Landmark Latitude (+N)
    (b) Longitude/2 (+E)
    (c) Altitude
    992 (a) Desired Thrust Percentage of DPS
    (b) Altitude Rate
    (c) Computed Altitude

Some Recommended "Apollo Book" Resources

  • Sunburst and Luminary - An Apollo Memoir by Don Eyles
    • 357 pages and published in 2018
    • Don Eyles worked on the Apollo Project from 1966 through 1972, and on the NASA space program until 1998, as a computer scientist at the MIT Instrumentation Lab (a.k.a. Charles Stark Draper Laboratory) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He created flight software for the lunar landing phase of the Moon mission, and invented a sequencing system that is in use on the International Space Station.
    • "SUNBURST" and "LUMINARY" two names of many Apollo Guidance Computer programs
      • SUNBURST and SUNDANCE only flew on Apollo missions not involving the Moon (eg. Apollo-5 with LM-1 and Apollo-9)
      • Starting with moon missions, all the LM program names began with an "L" (LUMINARY ) while all the CM programs began with a "C" (COLOSSUS and COMANCHE)
    • Initial code was developed using main frame computers (Honeywell 1800 and IBM 360) while some earlier expertise in Don's shop came from earlier work on vacuum-tube based system named Whirlwind
    • Provides good explanations of many AGC programs from P12 through P99 with the all-important P63 through to P66 used by the EL3D Windows simulation
    • excerpts from page 63-66:
      • Generically, the Apollo Guidance Computer was known as the AGC. The unit in the Command Module was identical to the unit in the LM except for software. We usually called ours the LGC (LM Guidance Computer)
      • While Whirlwind would set a record of running for 7-hours before failure, the goal of AGC was to run 100,000-hours without a failure
      • The AGC's principal designer was Eldon Hall. The architecture was implemented from 2800 triple input NOR gates. A 1966 interview with program manager Ralph Ragan estimated that building 4-5 AGC prototypes consumed 60% of the country's production of integrated circuits (chips)
      • RAM: magnetic cores arranged as 2k 16-bit words
      • ROM: 32K 16-bit words (SUNBURST); 34k 16-bit words (LUMINARY)
    • pages 142-162 contain a detailed while chilling explanation of everything in the Apollo-11 landing. This includes seven different DSKY diagrams as well as a diagram of the Rendezvous Radar mode switch which was implicated in the 1201-1201 alarm debacle
    • also lots of stuff about other missions including Apollo-12 which was would have landed within 400 feet (91 m) of Surveyor-3 if an astronaut would have not have overreacted.
  • The Apollo Guidance Computer: Architecture and Operation by Frank O'Brien
    • 427 pages and published in 2010
    • The technological marvel that facilitated the Apollo missions to the Moon was the on-board computer. In the 1960s most computers filled an entire room, but the spacecraft’s computer was required to be compact and low power. Although people today find it difficult to accept that it was possible to control a spacecraft using such a ‘primitive’ computer, it nevertheless had capabilities that are advanced even by today’s standards. This is the first book to fully describe the Apollo guidance computer’s architecture, instruction format and programs used by the astronauts. As a comprehensive account, it will span the disciplines of computer science, electrical and aerospace engineering. However, it will also be accessible to the ‘space enthusiast’. In short, the intention is for this to be the definitive account of the Apollo guidance computer.
    • http://www.apolloguidancecomputer.com/
  • Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in Spaceflight by David A. Mindell (MIT Press)
    • 360 pages and published in 2008
    • Chapters 1-4 discuss flight engineering controls from the Wright Brothers through to the X-15 days at Edwards-Dryden
    • Chapter 5 discusses designing Apollo Guidance systems at MIT (which got its start in Polaris)
    • Chapter 6 discusses various management styles between NASA, contractors and sub-contractors. It also mentions a scheme to do in-flight repair of the AGC (this plan was cancelled once the AGC started to employ integrated circuits)
    • Chapter 7 discusses AGC hardware design which started out using discrete transistors and finished using 2-gate integrated circuits. At the peak in mid-1965, 600 people worked on AGC hardware.
      Note: even though the AGC software was written using METRIC MEASUREMENTS, the astronauts requested analog displays like "feet per second". The AGC was then required to do the conversion in order to drive these displays.
    • Chapter 8 presents an overview of AGC software which seems to have cropped up almost as an afterthought. In 1960 NASA thought the computers would be programmed by mathematicians but this work turned out to be an engineering discipline. In mid-1965 there were approximately 250 people working on AGC software. This number peaked at 400 in mid-1968.  This chapter also describes the low-tech LPD (landing point designator) which is comprised of colored  markings on the commander's window.
    • Chapter 9 (Apollo 11) discusses "executive overflow" alarms 1201 + 1202 and AGS memory location 413
    • Chapter 10 (Apollo 12, 14 - 17) also discusses VERB + NOUN syntax as well as detailed descriptions of each landing
    • Chapter 11 briefly touches on many things including: installing an Apollo AGC in an F-8, The Shuttle, CEV (Crew Exploration Vehicle), glass cockpit of the Airbus A-320, etc. 
  • Apollo in Perspective (2000) by Jonathan Allday
    • Subtitled "Spaceflight Then and Now", this hardcover book weighs in at 320 pages.
    • What a surprise. An internet friend suggested I buy this book just to read chapters 5 (The Apollo Command and Service Modules) and 6 (The Lunar Module) but I decided to read the whole thing because it is a treasure trove of information. Here are the chapter names with a few comments thrown in:
      • 1) Apollo in Outline
      • 2) The Best Driver in Physics
        • falling, momentum (P=mv), the physics of rocket motors
      • x) Intermission 1: The Saturn V booster rocket
      • 3) Rocketry
        • Thrust, Impulse, Propellant (fossil, cryogenic, hypergolic, solid), Applying Newton's Laws to a Spacecraft, Real Rocket Engines, Staging, A Typical "Saturn V" Launch, Future Developments in Rocketry (including nuclear engines, solar sails, ion motors)
        • Thrust (T=u • Δm/Δt   where: u=exhaust velocity)
        • Impulse (I=u/g   where: u=exhaust velocity)
        • Given: F=ma   Since: m=Δv/Δt   Then: F=m • Δv/Δt   Then: FΔt=mΔv (note: one definition of impulse is: FΔt)
      • x) Intermission 2: From Mercury to Gemini
      • 4) Orbits and Trajectories
        • including: Orbits, Centripetal Forces, Gravity and Orbits, Other Orbits (includes Elliptical Orbits), Simulating Gravity (includes examples of Babylon 5), Changing Orbits (includes Circularization Burns and when to do them, Hohmann transfers), Flying to the Moon (includes: The Apollo third stage was under fueled so that the CSM would require 3 days to get to the moon rather than one; why? because a faster velocity meant more breaking would be required to be captured by lunar gravity but the SPS engine was too small for this), Trajectories to Mars (includes: why a lower delta-V is required to get to Mars than than to the Moon), Space Stations
      • 5) The Apollo Command and Service Modules
        • Mission Modes, The Command Module (includes a scary description of the Apollo 1 fire), The Service Module
      • x) Intermission 3: Inertial Guidance and Computers
        • The Need for a Guidance System, Guidance and Control Systems, The Apollo Computer, The Apollo Computer in Perspective
      • 6) The Lunar Module
        • Designing the First Spacecraft, The Ascent Stage, The Descent Stage, Space Suits, The Lunar Rover, The Ascent to Orbit
      • xx) Intermission 4: The Three 'ings' (Eating, Sleeping, Excreting)
      • 7) The Shuttle and its Followers
        • The space shuttle, Shuttle Components,
      • x) Intermission 5: The Politics of Apollo
      • 8) Mars
      • x) Intermission 6: Godspeed John Glenn (for both of his missions with a 36-year gap)
      • 9) Journeys to the Stars
        • Orion and project Daedalus, Laser propulsion, Ramjet, Antimatter Drive, Colony ships, Wormholes, etc.
      • x) Appendix 1: Glossary
      • x) Appendix 2: Apollo Mission Summary
      • xx) Appendix 3: Development of Boosters
      • x) Appendix 4: Deriving Some of the Maths
      • x) Appendix 5: Further Information
      • x) Index
  • Journey to the Moon: The History of the Apollo Guidance Computer (1996) by Eldon C. Hall
    • published by the "American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics" ( www.aiaa.org )
    • The Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) sits squarely between the mainframe punched-card readers of the 1950s and the microprocessor-based desktop personal computers of the 1970s (Apple II, TRS-80, Commodore PET). This book gives the best view of what the American aerospace industry was capable of building in the 1960s and how Apollo stimulated the electronics industry to produce standardized semiconductor technologies like RTL (resistor-transistor logic) and DTL (diode-transistor logic).
    • Excerpt From Page 19: This action made NASA's Apollo Program the single largest single consumer of integrated circuits between 1961 and 1965. Design and production of the Block I Apollo computer consumed about 200,000 (Fairchild Inc.) Micrologic elements.
    • During the lunar landing phase of Apollo 11, computer program alarms 1201 + 1202 caused some concern to everyone listening in. Pin-headed reporters will have you believe that someone had mis-programmed the computer. This notion is completely wrong. In fact, the AGC was truly fault-tolerant and continued to function even though it was too busy to process all the incoming information. These alarms basically mean "I am too busy to do all you are asking of me so I'm only go to pay attention to the important stuff". During missions after Apollo-11 the astronauts would avoid this situation by just turning off the rendezvous radar (which is only needed when trying to fly back to the CSM in lunar orbit above)
    • Part I - History
      1. Computer Hardware
      2. Computers (Educational, Commercial, Aerospace)
      3. MIT Instrumentation Laboratory
    • Part II - Apollo Hardware
      1. Requirements
      2. In The Beginning -- Apollo Computer
      3. Winds of Change Were Blowing (Discrete Transistors to Integrated Circuits)
      4. Block I Computers (1963)
      5. System Integration
        • EEMI problems, TC (Transfer Control) Trap Alarms, Uplink Interference
      6. Naysayers and Advice from Outside Experts
      7. Next Generation - Block II (1964)
      8. Naysayers Revisited
      9. Reliability
    • Part III - Apollo Software
      1. Software Development
        • NASA originally thought that the AGC software would be created by mathematicians. Later on, contractors provided "computer programmers" and "system engineers".
        • Fortran and MAC (an MIT algorithmic programming language) were the only two software tools originally considered. Later on, macro assemblers were developed and then run on AGC simulators implemented in mainframe computers from IBM and Honeywell.
      2. Mission Software
      3. Finale
    • Other
      • Appendices + Index
      • 43 Photographic Plates on 32 pages
      • Page 8 contains the coolest picture of core memory similar to this one.
  • Moon Lander: How We Developed the Apollo Lunar Module (2004) by Thomas J. Kelly
    • Weights in at 380 pages and is produced by Smithsonian Publishing (which is almost always associated with high quality)
    • This is a book that is more about engineering than it is about space flight. That said, I would recommend it
    • more review material is coming soon...
      Including:
      • Pogo problems with the Saturn F1 engines (fuel was driven back into the nozzle which affected thrust; the change in force would cause longitudinal oscillations)
      • using bombs to debug resonance problems with the F1 engine
      • uusing bombs to debug resonance problems with the LM ascent stage engine (fixed by adding a Rocketdyne injector to the Bell Aerospace engine)
      • using x-ray techniques to test/fixing fuel-line leaks
  • Virtual LM (Book and CD-ROM) by Scott P. Sullivan
    • published by "Apogee Books". www.apogeespacebooks.com
    • The CD-ROM contains 535 MB of content which includes:
      • Lots of photographs
      • Apollo 14 Lunar Module Activation Checklist
      • Apollo 14 Lunar Module Timeline
      • Apollo 15 Lunar Module Cue Cards
      • Apollo 15 Lunar Module Data Cards
      • Apollo 16 Contingency Checklist
      • Apollo Operations Handbook Volume I
      • Apollo Operations Handbook Volume II

'Eagle Lander 3d' Author's (Ron Monsen) Personal Sites

'Eagle Lander 3d' was written by Ron Monsen (an American living and working in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia)

Other Links


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Neil Rieck
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.