The Apollo Guidance Computer flies to the moon
21st December 1968
The Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) was the first computer to use integrated circuits. Built by Raytheon, the AGC provided navigation for the spacecraft in the Apollo program which took mankind to the moon.
The AGC needed to be compact, occupying less than 1 cubic foot. The use of integrated circuits helped to meet these size constraints. Astronauts communicated with the AGC using the "DSKY" display and keyboard units to collect flight information, and to control navigational functions.
The AGC was developed by MIT in the early 1960s. The hardware was fabricated by Raytheon. Software was written by a team of programmers under the direction of Margaret Hamilton.
In August 1966, test flights using the AGC began.
On 21st December 1968, the Apollo 8 mission used the AGC to send a manned spacecraft to orbit the moon.
On 16th July 16 1969, the Apollo 11 mission used the AGC to land on the moon.