How Much Computing Power Was Used for the Apollo 11 Moon Landing?

The amount of computing power used for the Apollo 11 moon landing on 20 July 1969 was 0.043 MHz, or less than that of a pocket calculator, a thumb drive or even a modern toaster. A computer system known as the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) was created at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and allowed the astronauts to control the spacecraft by typing simple commands of nouns and verbs. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were able to land on the moon because of the AGC’s ability to navigate distance of about 221,208 miles (356,000 km).

More about Apollo 11:

  • Before the flight back to Earth, Armstrong and Aldrin left a variety of mementos on the moon in addition to the American flag, including goodwill wishes from 73 world leaders, a gold olive branch pin and items commemorating astronauts who had died during previous space flight attempts.

  • An estimated 530 million people watched on television as Apollo 11 landed on the moon.

  • Armstrong and Aldrin spent a total of 21 hours and 36 minutes on the moon’s surface during the Apollo 11 lunar mission.
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Discussion Comments


0.043 MHz is a frequency and nothing to do with power, computing or otherwise?

In 1969 the only 'computers' were very basic and involved feeding in cards with holes in them. I doubt that Neil and Buzz ever left Hollywood!

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