Amazing Space Technology That Never Went To Space

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While I love to talk about rockets, spacecraft and satellites it’s true that much of the technology developed for the space program was never intended to leave the ground. And yet it might be argued that some of the hardware from the Apollo Program which remained Earthbound has had a more direct effect on our daily lives.

  1. Rian rushwood

    At 6:03 I was spawning in a craft in KSP as you said “revert to launch” because I use videos as background noise

  2. Fred Pilcher

    :D Fascinating! Thanks Scott!

  3. Callum Guy

    Your depth of knowledge is simply astounding

  4. SlyPearTree

    What is a good book (or more) describing the tech used in the control rooms?

  5. nesa1126

    Yea, I wondered how they simulated less gravity in that thing

  6. MadDog95

    Did it revert to launch pad 39a or 39b

  7. Damien Drouart

    Magnetic forging is another earthbound appolo tech that never was used after.

  8. Schizophrenic Enthusiast

    Wow, I’ve never heard of any of these things you talked about.

  9. Trusteft

    Cool video man!
    Thanks for sharing.

  10. William Hellman

    Scott, Can you please going into more detail on this with Mission Control. Thanks! Jeb, Bob & I want to hear more…

  11. Pass The Butter Robot

    Very interesting, thanks. It’s weird now to see everyone smoking as they operated their computer consoles

  12. sketchesofpayne

    Well now you need to do a video just about mission control! And then another one about the simulators.

  13. CGspire

    You forget about stuff that they tried but did not work like …. escape system from the moon, moon motorcycle and ideas to go in gemini to the moon first.

  14. Neurofied Yamato

    This is truly the most under appreciated aspect of the space program.

  15. rahul sreedharan

    Do more videos on the old computers used in space like in the 1950’s ,1960’s and 1970’s.

  16. Poran Tudor

    Why did the people not like the restaurant on the moon?
    Because there was no atmosphere.

  17. Tom Jacobs

    i’m proud owner of a System 370 control panel.

  18. Shane E

    We should have some kind of a community funded program to land a man on the moon using a craft powered by a raspberry Pi…….. Just because we could. Because, the old hardware was so bad, and yet, did so well….. I think we could do it!!!!!

  19. Rs Rt

    At 6:10 looked like the Death Star.
    Also, holy shit those ejector seats, WOW!

  20. Claude Hébert

    The LLRV was dubbed “the flying bedstead”, a name used again for the Rolls Royce TMR, which then led to the Harrier (after years of research). Nice KSP collection you got here!

  21. Adrian Shingler

    Love this, so much detail that was never available or explained to us mere mortals at the time. The best we had was James Burke and Patrick Moore on the BBC with their plastic models 😊👍❤️

  22. Das Skelett

    More! Mooooore!
    Damn, that’s interesting! Never knew those details about Mercury/Gemini/Apollo.

  23. mbaxter22

    Ooh! Ooh! Do a video on old simulator tech. I’ve always been fascinated with the simulators those astronauts used back in the Gemini/Apollo days.

  24. Brian Arbenz

    Loved this! I was always transfixed on the TV images of NASA’s mission control room during Apollo. It’s great to learn a lot of these specific devices and methods. Thanks Scott Manley.

  25. dwldjon

    Scott can you do a video of spaceflight simulator? Btw long time fan

  26. JustAllinOneResource

    Just incredible what they were able to do back in those days. Just brilliant. 👍

  27. SRFriso94

    “And supported up to a megabyte of memory.” Wow. Nowadays a terabyte isn’t that unusual anymore in laptops. XD

  28. C Koushi

    Thanks so much, Scott! It’s so easy to take for granted how amazingly smart and clever the Apollo era (and earlier) engineers and designers truly were!

  29. David Henderson

    9:00 The Flying Bedstead it was nicknamed. It needs a video all its own.

  30. Blox117

    oh, encyclopedia Britannica thought it would be wise to invade this video to tell us about apollo space program

  31. David Meigs

    That lunar landing simulator is amazing! I wonder if there’s a drone version out there, lol

  32. Tony Doubtfire

    Great video Scott. I’ve always wanted to know how those big screens in the control room worked.

  33. Feiner Fug

    How about showcasing the 1g trainer for the lunar rover?
    I‘d like one of those to ride around town and annoy the hell out of everybody because it‘s soo slow :-)

  34. Mark Davis

    The technology inside the mission control room is almost as amazing as what went into space.

  35. Lawrence D’Oliveiro

    09:13 That crash happened just six weeks before Apollo 11 took off, I believe.
    Also, the LLTV, or “Flying Bedstead”, was such a beast to fly, that you needed a fair bit of training before you were allowed to train in it.

  36. Calvin Odbert

    “I could talk all day” continues to talk for 5 minutes longer.

  37. Moritz von Schweinitz

    Great idea, featuring this kind of behind-the-scenes technology! Also emphazises the point what a massive project Apollo was, wich the Saturn V just being the tip of the iceberg, of sorts.
    I would love this topic to be a series!

  38. Mitchell McCreath

    Thank you mate, amazing stuff!!!!

  39. mccpcorn2000

    Make sure you pass this onto Amy Shira Teitel!

  40. Joe A

    Amazing! Thank you for all your research putting this together. This needs to be saved for posterity.

  41. RockinRobbins13

    Only 44 views for a Scott Manley video? Yipers! That will change. This has amazing application to evaluating the Moon Hoax Lunatics’ claims.

  42. Murasaki

    This is all similar to the stuff I started off my career working on. It’s been a long road.

  43. Eo Tunun

    I just can’t hold myself back from pointing out that they must have had a dark slide of the moon in the control centre.
    …which makes it coat time for me. ^^)

  44. Robert Blaskiewicz

    Mission Control needs it’s own episode. I NEED MOAR!

  45. lietkynes81

    Really great video! Well, I couldn’t expect no less from Scott :)
    Also, a very nice topic to bring about. There were so many innovations going on back then… 60’s were a thing.

  46. Martijn Cornelissen

    Please do a 24hour video about mission control tech 😅👍👍

  47. Dan Haworth

    Scott, I think this is actually my favorite video I’ve seen you produce! So many things I didn’t know! Thank you 😊

  48. Anarchy Antz

    Scott “I could talk about mission control and it’s computers all day”. We welcome that day with open arms.

  49. Dobromir Manchev

    This is really cool stuff, i am always curious about the ‘behind the scenes” of big projects. Thanks for the bits of curiosities Scott!

  50. Timothy Barney

    The irony of the subject matter. Just watched a video from another YouTuber CuriousMarc about a group he is acquainted with who are restoring to operation ACG #14 from LTA-8 (the lunar lander on display at Johnson SC in Houston) which was used for ground testing. Their goal is completion in time for Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary next year.

  51. cheese chisel

    unflown NASA equipment … imagine that storage warehouse

  52. Dremor

    9:05 a video about space conquest cannot be made without something blowing up.

  53. Doc Huard

    RCA had a 3 CRT color video projector in the late 50s, the TLS50, that was also used to rear project real-time color video on to the screens.

  54. J D

    Great and informative video. You are the person who got me obsessed in space after watching your KSP vids. Thankyou and looking forward to seeing your future ones :-). Fly safe

  55. Allan Copland

    Very interesting Scott. I go back a bit with old-ish computers…. PDP8, PDP11/23 , HP9100, HP9830, and at home. UK101, Acorn ATOM, BBC B and the like. It is a different World now. I still have a working BBC B, but now my favourite thing is Arduinos.

  56. Anh Trieu

    Thanks god, they didn’t use Windows!

  57. randy25rhoads

    Great video!! I’ve always wondered about those big projector screens.

  58. Leouch

    “Hello it is Scott Manley here”
    me: hello Scott

  59. Pyro Doll

    Absolutely brilliant vid Scott. Yes, please more of the same. And thanks for your brilliant channel.

  60. Nate's Random Videos

    The freshly refurbished Apollo consoles for reinstallation at Houston for the upcoming 50th anniversary, arrived on the Guppy aircraft this week.

  61. Sean McDonough

    1:59 – By “on compatible systems”, do you mean “in an emulator”?

  62. Jozsef Izsak

    Highly informative and extremely interesting. Thank you so much!

  63. Cynthia Klenk

    Scott, I worked in highly classified flight test not too many years after Apollo. We used the same telemetry systems, and monitors (VT100’s) – but the actual data was fed, not a television image of the data. We used Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC) systems, rather than IBM. PDP 10’s, then 11’s DEC writer, RM02 hard drives (as big as a washing machine, with 500MB platters)), huge mag tape recorders…. big boards of core plane memory for RAM. Everything was 8 foot racks. and everything was octal. The computer system was in a white (very chilled down) raised floor room, and the control room (MOCR) – same name as NASA separated from it. You loaded the boot from paper tape. We used the same PCM telemetry system (Schlumberger – pronounced Shlum-ber jay). When you got telemetry dropouts the screen would reverse from white background, black characters to black background white warning characters. – All of those back lighted push button switches in the consoles were very heavy and very positive. You didn’t just touch them – you deliberately pushed them, they would go “clunk” you KNEW you had pushed the switch. – and they would either light up or change color from green to red, or white to green or what ever it was indicating. Go-nogo, or condition or warning. The rack mounted strip charts used thermal paper or pens and were 8 channels of PCM data each, and there were many channels of data. Telemetry downlink was S band. Can you tell I miss those days and that “heavy” no nonsense equipment? Oh yes I do Scott, yes I do indeed. – Fly safe.

  64. SouthendLad600

    I love your vids Scott. What melts my mind is that people can see this and still think there’s a flat earth!

  65. Jeff Bradway

    Mainframes today still use the JES2 subsystem. It was originally created by IBM in the early 60s as HASP. Which stands for Houston Automatic Spooling Program. Even today JES2 messages have message code prefix of $HASP.

  66. kippie80

    nice of you to give honourable mention to the other pilots that nearly died :)

  67. Ali Gallaton

    Can we just appreciate that, amazing, t-shirt.

  68. HylanderSB

    A lot of the paradigms you described are still used in satellite mission ops. Terminals can be custom configured to show available telemetry, there are still voice loops for comms, large screens for commonly useful situation information, simulators. No more air tubes though. They just stick the printers directly in the MOC and flight controllers can just get their printouts themselves. I haven’t noticed any slide rules laying around either.

  69. David Gao

    FYI, the system 360 mainframe later evolved into system 390 and system Z mainframes, still sold by IBM for a wealth, and are still refreshed every couple of years. The architecture is currently called s390x.

  70. Rykahnz

    My mom who’s from Germany thinks they faked the moon landing, me living in the states it’s easy to see how much history and hardware there’s still around from the Apollo program.

  71. sebsunda

    You know… the more I learn about that program, the more I am AMAZED by what a feat of engineering that was.
    Holly shit!!!
    All of this with less memory then a modern calculator has… (O_O)

  72. Against NAZO!

    “Amazing Space Technology That Never Went To Space”
    The NAZI-Bell and Hanebu-3 ^^
    Greetings from a german rocketeer. Great channel!

  73. Haakon Dahl

    Scott, you’re just killing it these days. Thanks again!

  74. TechMantra

    You’re surprised to hear that there’s old software running on these machines but you know what they say “If it ain’t broke, don’t let Microsoft near it”

  75. Not a Cat

    i can name 1 peace of space tech without watching this video.
    the launch pad

  76. Dean Smith

    Some software that can still run? With few exceptions programs written for the 360 can run today on the z14, many wouldn’t even have to be recompiled.

  77. Justin Franks

    And of course, the Apollo hoaxers and flat-earthers fixate on the one lander training flight when Armstrong had to eject, and _completely_ ignore the hundred successful flights.

  78. The Exoplanets Channel

    Indeed, amazing !

  79. Jack Menendez

    I am pretty sure that nearly all the System 360 realtime software was written in the 360 assembler language. There could have been some Fortran running as batch (not real-time) The terminals would have been IBM 3270’s. The 360/67 was the first to support dumb terminals. The operating system was likely OS/360. I think most folks would be surprised by the sophistication of the software even by today’s standards and it was written as I say in assembler.

  80. Lon Johnson

    When I saw the title, I was expecting a video about technology that was developed, but not used for various reasons. While I think that would be an interesting topic (and one you’ve covered in certain specific cases), seeing what the people on the ground had to work with is also quite interesting.

  81. Sylvia Else

    Perhaps those flying-bedsteads are the only simulators in history to have been more dangerous than the thing they were simulating, and that will probably always remain true.

  82. Bradley Whistance

    Both of my parents worked on System 360 in the Kingston IBM facility. Awesome to see some love for the supporting technology in the history of space exploration!

  83. James Stiles

    I bet that someone could make some money by selling a computer game that emulated the lunar lander or lunar lander simulator.

  84. Delivery McGee

    Re: Neil punching out of the LLTV: Later that day, somebody came by his office to tell him “Did you hear? Somebody had to eject from the LLTV!” Armstrong looked up from his paperwork (probably the “how I pancaked a $gigagabucks test vehicle” report), and calmly said “Yeah, it was me.”

  85. XORRE

    You think you could recreate the lunar landing test vehicles in good old KSP?

  86. asgerms

    I wish there was more information available on the individual screens that the people in mission control could select on their monitors. I am sure that Gene Kranz and Chris Kraft still knows that channel 33 is CAPCOM and so on :)

  87. Xeldrak

    One megabyte actually sounds impressive for its time.

  88. Tiago Seiler

    “I could probably talk all day about mission control…” PLEASE DO!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)

  89. Javier Bradford

    Thank you for the effort, very interesting and well documented.

  90. EGlideKid

    In the early 90’s, I taught Windows 3.0 classes to industry on Compaq laptops that had 20mb hard drives.
    I take one RAW photo with my DSLR now that averages 20mb in size.
    That camera can take 10 images per second, and write them in batches of 200 images in 20 seconds onto an XQD card that will hold 64gb of information.
    This still trips me out when I think about it.

  91. GCM

    1:03 any context to this image?

  92. Clint Pmk

    Keep it up scott. Thanks

  93. TheNOOBIFIER1337

    I love me a great Space Video

  94. nulious

    I had an Uncle that worked for IBM as a subcontractor at Johnson Space Center. He wrote some of the programs that would send test telemetry to the mainframes to test that they were working properly. He did this during the Apollo and Sky Lab Missions. He gave me a tour of the Johnson Space Center in the late 70s., this was before they started have tours open to the public.

  95. Joe Vignolo

    Gene Kranz mentions in his book going to “battle shorts” during the lunar landings. They would short out all the fuses feeding power to all the consoles and support equipment in Mission Control. They didn’t want the fuses blowing unnecessarily during the landing and would rather risk burning out the ground equipment.

  96. Mr. Morningstar

    My Grandfather worked for IBM as a service technician after leaving the Army after Vietnam. He retired from there in 1996. I’ve heard plenty of stories from him about the kinds of machines that he would install and repair. The technology was amazing for the time, but it was heavily mechanical and required trained technicians to repair them.
    He said he had whole repair manuals on microfilm with some type of projector that he could reference when needed. No need to carry around tons of paper in his car when on a call. He still has his toolkit with his original Fluke 8020 that still works.
    He is perhaps one of the smartest men I’ve ever met and could fix anything. After seeing some older IBM machinery you’d have to be pretty damn sharp to repair them.

  97. user name

    9:00 this spacecraft looks so Kerbal, not to mention the explosion at the end….

  98. Quazar501

    IBM 0,6mhz, 1mb memory mainframe -> put man on the moon.
    My Pc 8 x 4200mhz, 24000mb -> watch YT mostly.

  99. Aleksandr Matrosov

    Wow! Tv monitor which is stream from the camera pointed to another monitor with UI glued on it! Push the button and printed document come to you through a vacuum tube!
    I work in a company, which deliver 4K video stream to million users, using AWS computing power to transcode it in real live. But I couldn’t print a sheet of paper in an office, because of some technical problems. 50 years passed.

  100. Jimburr

    Scott “I could talk all day about this” Me Please do :D

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