Washing Machine Computers

The hoax supporters often mention that the computers on the Apollo spacecraft were no more powerful than the processing boards inside a standard modern washing machine. This is true...

But unlike general-purpose computers today, the Apollo guidance computer had to perform only one task at a time - guidance or engine burn length etc. Most of the number crunching was performed at Mission Control mainframe computers. The results were then transmitted to the onboard computer, which acted upon them. The Apollo guidance computer was capable of computing only a small number of navigation problems itself. Since the guidance computer had to run only one program, that program could be put in ROM, thus only a small amount of RAM was required to hold the temporary results of guidance calculations.

The hoax supporters tend to overrate the tasks performed by the onboard guidance computers of the 1960's. In fact, the Mercury spacecraft, 1961-63, flew into space without any onboard computer whatsoever, the early Soviet craft didn't either, yet the trajectories were precisely controlled and the capsule was capable of fully automated & manual control. A picture of the Apollo computers from the Command Module is shown here. Note; these computers did not use a 1GB windows system either.

Some hoax suporters even go as far as to say that programmable computers were not even invented then. The first such machine was built in the UK in 1943 called Colossus and was used to crack German codes. It even used paper tape as NASA later did over 20 yrs later.