Michigan Space and Science Center Site Index
Atlas Launch Console Gallery


The sign accompanying the launch console. It reads

Glenn Launch Console

This operating console was used to launch the Atlas rocket that carried John Glenn to his historic orbital flight.

It controlled and monitored the Mod III Atlas guidance computer system that began service in 1958, and was produced by the Burroughs Corp. of Michigan.

Though not the fastest or most sophisticated computer for its day, the Mod III was chosen for its proven technology and successfully completed 149 ICBM, satellite, and space vehicle missions.

The main part of the computer (not displayed here) was 16' long, 6' high, and 3' wide. It had a total memory of about 50,000 bytes, most of this being hard-wired. Today's comparable sized computers run about 600,000 times faster than the Mod III.

For additional information about the Mod III guidance system, see Range and Guidance Accuracy Capability of the Atlas Missile System

There's a Burroughs MOD I guidance computer in the LC-26 blockhouse, now the Air Force Space & Missile Museum. See their Burroughs MOD I Guidance Computer page (be sure to click through to the "Burroughs Guidance Computer Historical Summary" link, which also contains information on the Mod II and Mod III).

Time picture taken Wed Apr 23 13:16:52 2003
Location picture taken Michigan Space & Science Center
Jackson, MI
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