Visible Storage - samples from the collection
Exhibit Search
Overview Ancient-1940s 1940s-1960s 1960s-1980s 1970s-1990s Exhibit Floorplan Back to Previous Page
Contents

Minuteman I Guidance Computer - Artifact

Click to see bigger picture

Minuteman rocket on the launch pad, c. 1960
Credit: USAF

Minuteman I Guidance Computer

This section of a Minuteman I missile guidance computer is a 24-bit serial minicomputer that controlled an on-board inertial guidance system. Previous missiles were guided by ground-based computers that communicated using a radio link, but since atomic explosions in the atmosphere could disrupt radio communications there was a need to develop a computer small enough to be housed in the rocket itself. The computer also performed diagnostic checks on the rocket system as it waited in the launch silo.

View on Plan
Computer History Museum
feedback credits