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HP Forum Archive 17

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HP-65 in Space
Message #1 Posted by Karl-Ludwig Butte on 10 Apr 2007, 4:24 a.m.

Hi all,

as is commonly known, NASA used the HP-65 during its Apollo space missions(see here at the museum for reference http://www.hpmuseum.org/hp65.htm. I wonder if the HP-65 programs were ever published and commented. Does anyone have some information or Internet links ? Thank you very much in advance.

Kind regards

Karl

      
Re: HP-65 in Space
Message #2 Posted by Bill (Smithville, NJ) on 10 Apr 2007, 10:08 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Karl-Ludwig Butte

Hi Karl,

Quote:
I wonder if the HP-65 programs were ever published and commented.

I had also wondered about this. A few years ago, I contacted several people connected with the current space program, plus a friend of mine that works on the Satelites Programs who then contacted several friends of his in Houston.

No one could find any record of the original HP-67 Cards or the program listings.

I had also tried to find references to the HP-41 that had been used on early Shuttle flights. No such luck. There is a HP-41 on display at the Air & Space Museum. Assumming it is one of the actual units used and it has the module still in it, then someone with contacts there might be able to see if a copy of the code could be made for historical purposes..

The following is a link to my earlier messages on the HP-41 in space:

HP-41 in Space

Did anyone ever try purchasing the HP-41 SPOC Manual from WSN? The WEB site is way out of date - last update 1998. So not sure if WSN is even still around.

NASA is supposed to have an Archive/Library somewhere - not sure if in Houston or elsewhere. That might be a good place to start.

Bill

Edited: 10 Apr 2007, 10:10 a.m.

            
Re: HP-65 in Space
Message #3 Posted by John Limpert on 10 Apr 2007, 3:10 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by Bill (Smithville, NJ)

I wouldn't be too hopeful about finding those programs. JSC had major problems finding the "old" software needed to support the reactivation and final days of Skylab. My experience is that most stuff ends up in a dumpster when a program is terminated. Nobody is willing to spend the money to archive old software and documentation. Your best bet may be some retired programmer's garage.

                  
Re: HP-65 in Space
Message #4 Posted by Karl-Ludwig Butte on 11 Apr 2007, 3:13 a.m.,
in response to message #3 by John Limpert

Thanks both of you for your responding. Hope you won't mind helping me with the meaning of the following abbreviations you used: What is a SPOC-Manual, WSN and JSC ? Thank you very much in advance.

Kind regards

Karl

                        
Re: HP-65 in Space
Message #5 Posted by John Limpert on 11 Apr 2007, 3:26 a.m.,
in response to message #4 by Karl-Ludwig Butte

Sorry. JSC is the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The lead center for manned space flight at NASA.

                        
Re: HP-65 in Space
Message #6 Posted by Bill (Smithville, NJ) on 11 Apr 2007, 7:59 a.m.,
in response to message #4 by Karl-Ludwig Butte

Hi Karl,

Quote:
What is a SPOC-Manual, WSN

SPOC stands for "SHUTTLE PORTABLE ONBOARD COMPUTER ".

And WSN stands for "World Spaceflight News".

More info at the link I posted to the earlier message thread:

HP-41 In Space

According to WSN, there was an actual 44 Page Manual describing the HP-41 SPOC. Title of manual is

"HP-41 / SHUTTLE PORTABLE ONBOARD COMPUTER (SPOC) Setup of hardware and operation; software descriptions; troubleshooting. 44 pgs. $18.00"

That would be a very interesting manual to read.

Unfortunately, the WSN WEB site offering this for purchase, is way out of date. So I'm not sure if they are still in business or not. I do remember someone telling me that he had seen them offering CDROM's of groups of mnauals, at a fairly high price. Not sure if these are still available either. I tried e-mailing WSN some time ago and didn't get any response back.

But if they had a HP-41 SPOC manual, then maybe the NASA archives would also have a copy.

Bill

      
Re: HP-65 in Space
Message #7 Posted by Bill (Smithville, NJ) on 12 Apr 2007, 10:27 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Karl-Ludwig Butte

Followup on World Spaceflight News.

I sent them an e-mail again enquiring about the SPOC HP-41 manuals. No response back as of yet.

On Amazon, WSN is listed as the publisher of many CDROM's and DVD's of related NASA, Shuttle, and other spaceflights.

I've just ordered the following DVD:

Quote:
America's Space Shuttle: Complete Set of NASA Astronaut Training Manuals and Major NASA STS Documents (DVD-ROM) (DVD-ROM) by World Spaceflight News (Author)

They state thay had 4 in stock, so I should be receiving it in a couple of weeks. (Took the free shipping option to save a few dollars).

I'm hoping that out of the 50,000 pages on the DVD will be the 44 pages for the HP-41 manual.

I'll let you know what I find out.

Bill

            
Re: HP-65 in Space
Message #8 Posted by Daniel W. on 12 Apr 2007, 11:24 a.m.,
in response to message #7 by Bill (Smithville, NJ)

I spent 11 years at the Johnson Space Center - I'm an ex-rocket scientist. I can tell you that NASA doesn't throw anything away. The SPOC documents are somewhere, probably on microfiche in the main Library.

So if anyone reading this works at JSC, go have a look in the library and let us know what you find.

Back in '93 I was asked to develop a lunar landing guidance algorithm for an unmanned vehicle called Artemis. I discovered that there was no one at NASA who knew how to do this. Everyone who had worked on Apollo had long since retired. NASA had lost the expertise that made them great. But there was the library and I was able to reverse engineer the original work and improve upon it. For a while I was probably the only person at NASA who knew how to do it.

-- Dan

                  
Re: HP-65 in Space
Message #9 Posted by GE on 12 Apr 2007, 11:44 a.m.,
in response to message #8 by Daniel W.

Real engineer work !! Congratulations

                  
Re: HP-65 in Space
Message #10 Posted by John Limpert on 12 Apr 2007, 1:01 p.m.,
in response to message #8 by Daniel W.

I've seen lots of stuff get thrown away. I guess it depends on where you worked.

Many years ago, I was interested in looking at some of the ground systems software used to support Apollo. It was all gone. After ASTP, someone had decided that it was obsolete and threw all of it away.

            
Re: HP-65 in Space
Message #11 Posted by Karl-Ludwig Butte on 13 Apr 2007, 4:17 a.m.,
in response to message #7 by Bill (Smithville, NJ)

Thanks a lot to all of you who have responded and helped me understanding new unknown abbreviations. Thanks especially to your offer, Bill, to keep me informed about the DVD-Set you ordered - I appreciate that very much.

Kind regards

Karl

      
Re: HP-65 in Space (Apollo)
Message #12 Posted by Andrés C. Rodríguez on 13 Apr 2007, 9:04 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Karl-Ludwig Butte

The last Apollo mission to the Moon was Apollo 17. It was launched in December 1972, just a few months after the HP35 introduction, and almost a year before the HP45 was announced. So it is safe to assume no HP calculator (and certainly no HP65) flew in the Moon missions. That lefts us with the Skylab missions as a possibility, but, at least from the materials I once read, the first HP calculator in space was an HP65 in the Apollo-Soyuz mission.

Take into account that NASA certification process takes many tests (and time) before declaring an article "spaceworthy". While the HP41C certainly flew in the Space Shuttles, it was mentioned at the time that NASA mandated some changes in parts of it (may be plastics and batteries, not sure about these) before allowing the HP41C to liftoff in the Shuttles...

            
Re: HP-65 in Space (Apollo)
Message #13 Posted by Bill (Smithville, NJ) on 13 Apr 2007, 10:10 p.m.,
in response to message #12 by Andrés C. Rodríguez

Hi Andrés,

The following link from the Smithonian gives some detail on the HP-41C's that flew on the shuttles.

HP-41c on Shuttle

Quote from article:

Quote:
Only minor modifications were made: adding Velcro strips to the case, and removing a few parts that might "outgas," or give off gases that might contaminate the cabin's air.

From the article, NASA used custom modules for the programs and also had an early pre-release time module.

Does anyone know if the HP-41C at the Air & Space museum still has the modules installed? If so, I wonder if Dave Hicks contacted the Museum, if they would work with him to document the programs - a Rom dump would be great so that we could play with it on the emulators.

Does anyone on the list have contacts at the Air and Space Museum??

Hopefully, that DVD I ordered will have the manual for it and we can finally get some answers.

Bill

Edited: 13 Apr 2007, 10:16 p.m.

                  
Re: HP-65 in Space (Apollo)
Message #14 Posted by Dave Shaffer on 14 Apr 2007, 11:24 a.m.,
in response to message #13 by Bill (Smithville, NJ)

On the Air and Space museum website, there is an option to ask about archive material. Maybe a query there would be useful.

On the other hand,

"Does anyone on the list have contacts at the Air and Space Museum??"

I suspect I am only one person away from somebody who knows the boss (I'm trying to find out who it is, I might even know him/her).

                  
Re: HP-65 in Space (Apollo)
Message #15 Posted by S. Martin on 16 Apr 2007, 10:30 a.m.,
in response to message #13 by Bill (Smithville, NJ)

Hi Bill,

I have visited the Air and Space Museum on several occasions (I live in the DC area). I have taken pictures of the 41CV they have on display, see the pictures in this thread:

http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/hpmuseum/archv010.cgi?read=26263

The 41CV on display definitely DOES NOT have any modules installed, that was the first thing I looked for when seeing the display.

Steve


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