Collections - Space
Vintage Systems

Saturn V Instrumentation Circuit Board

This is a genuine NASA Apollo Saturn V Launch Vehicle Flight Computer Circuit Board. This artifact was acquired from a warehouse near Huntsville Alabama, where it was purchased at a Marshall Space Flight Center auction back in the late 1970's. A duplicate version of this board flew on every Saturn Rocket that carried the Apollo Astronauts to the moon and was a critical part of the Saturn Vehicle Guidance and control System. It was used in the Saturn Instrument Unit (I.U.) Guidance and control Computer. The I.U. was part of the Saturn V third stage and was situated just below the Lunar Module. Since all flown parts of the Saturn V third stage are either destroyed or floating in space, there are no flown examples on earth. This is a spare from the Saturn Flight Computer. It was a backup in case an onboard computer failed. This circuit board was specifically designed by IBM for the Apollo Saturn V Moon Vehicle. It uses high reliability electronic components, which paved the way for much of todays sophisticated microelectronics industry. The microelectronic flatpack I.C.'s on this Apollo artifact use some of the earliest hybrid technology. They use alumina substrates with palladium conductor runs built directly into the insulators. All these components were space qualified to the highest reliability standards available at the time. The dimensions are about 3 inches by 2 5/8 inches. IBM was the prime contractor for the Apollo Saturn V I.U. They designed and built the Guidance, Navigation and Control Computer for Saturn Apollo. The dimensions are about 3 1/2 high inches by 4 1/4 inches wide by 1 1/4 inches deep. This particular circuit board has 27 individual "flat pack" integrated circuits. The digital signals are transmitted through a green melamine insulated edge card connector with gold conductor pins.
Markings: 6112860 35-5

Front view:
(Source image 1050 x 876 pixels)

Rear view:
(Source image 1024x861 pixels)

Edge view:
(Source image 1247 x 271 pixels)