Thursday, April 19, 1962 – IBM Awarded Computer Contract


Block diagram of the Gemini spacecraft guidance and control system, originally published in the Project Gemini Familiarization Charts and at NASA's SP-4002 'Project Gemini: A Chronology' web site.

McDonnell has awarded IBM’s Space Guidance Center, of Owego, New York, a $26.6 million subcontract for the Gemini spacecraft computer system. IBM is also responsible for integrating this digital computer with the spacecraft’s systems and the components electrically connected to it. These components are to include the inertial platform, the rendezvous radar, the time reference system, the digital command system, the data acquisition system, the electronics for attitude control and maneuvers, the autopilot for the launch vehicle, console controls, displays, and aerospace ground equipment.

Along with the guidance and control system equipment, IBM is to provide an incremental velocity indicator — visually displaying changes in spacecraft velocity — and a manual data insertion unit, as well as an auxiliary power unit for the computer.

The first meeting is being held between representatives of McDonnell and of the Manned Spacecraft Center to negotiate the technical details of McDonnell’s plans for the support and documentation of Project Gemini.

In the Mercury Program, NASA announced that spacecraft Friendship 7 would be loaned to the United States Information Agency for a world tour including 20 stops on six continents.

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