March 5: The Museum in Washington, DC will open today. Due to weather, the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA is closed.
This is an engineering control and display unit for the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite, which operated from 1978 to 1996. The unit was the first of five engineering control consoles designed and built by the Bendix Corporation for NASA and the European Space Agency. It is nearly identical to the scientific control consoles used in the IUE control center in Building 21 of Goddard Space Flight Center. This particular console, however, came from the Engineering unit in Building 4. The center section contains two CRTs, a keyboard, and a joystick. Facades simulating a minicomputer and disk drive are attached at the right. The unit was refurbished at the Garber facility in 1982 for display in the National Air and Space Museum's "Stars" gallery. The instrument facades, a keyboard, a teleprinter, and a working CRT were added at that time to simulate a working IUE console. The unit was transferred to NASM by NASA in 1982; it was on display in the Stars gallery from then until the exhibit closed in 1997. Preserved with the console are paper notes, memoranda, and other ephemera typical of an operating environment.
Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and gift of parts by Ramtek Inc., and the Digital Equipment Corporation