Skylab’s Honey Badger of a Computer System
“The software resumed the program cycle where it had left off four years and 30 days earlier. As far as the computer was concerned, it had suffered a temporary power transient!”Skylab’s “reactivation” mission continued, uncrewed, until its reentry in mid-1979. During this time, software engineers were able to devise modes to help stabilize and, ultimately, deorbit the spacecraft. In over 600 days of operations, the ATMDC system experienced NO failures.
|And the clock is running: Columbia lifts off, marking the beginning of the Space Shuttle era (STS-1, April 12, 1981). Skylab's redundant computers would have a huge impact on the Space Shuttle's computer hardware. Photo Credit: NASA|
Sources and Recommended Reading:
2. “IBM and Skylab.” IBM website: http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/space/space_skylab.html
3. Jenkins, D. R. (2012). Space shuttle: The history of the national space transportation system, the first 100 missions. Cape Canaveral, FL: Published by author.
4. Tomayko, J. (1987). Computers in spaceflight: the NASA experience. Washington, D.C.: National Aeronautics and Space Administration.