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R.I.P., Moc

By Burlison, Terry

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Book Id: WPLBN0003548816
Format Type: PDF eBook :
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Reproduction Date: 2014

Title: R.I.P., Moc  
Author: Burlison, Terry
Language: English
Subject: Nonfiction, Astronomy, Science
Collections: Science Fiction Collection, Baen Library Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: Baen Publishing Enterprises


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Burlison, T. (2013). R.I.P., Moc. Retrieved from

Description: This article explains the history of MOC (Missions Operations Computer) from its birth up to when it 'retired'.

Summary: The MOC handled all computing requirements during space flights, such as displaying telemetry—information sent down from the spacecraft that essentially tells ground controllers, “Here’s how things are going.” The MOC also enabled controllers to send commands to the vehicle, such as turning on equipment. Most challenging, the MOC computed the spacecraft orbits and maneuvers, tasks that required tremendous capability because of the complex math involved. To accomplish these tasks, the MOC drove some 40 displays and 5,500 event lights on consoles throughout the MCC.

Excerpt: The MOC’s original IBM 7094 was the fastest, most powerful computer of its day. It sported a whopping 64K of main core storage, the area of a computer where programs actually run. To get a sense of scale, consider that a modern laptop has about the same memory capacity as 100,000 MOCs. (Playing my copy of Angry Birds would require the memory of 500 IBM 7094s. And while fast for its day, the machine would require several months of 40-hour weeks to play a single minute of the game!)

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