Core Plane Module, Saturn V

Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

This is a core plane, unflown, from a Launch Vehicle Digital Computer, which was part of the guidance system for the Saturn V rocket. The computer was mounted on the inside of the Saturn V Instrument Unit (IU), above the Third Stage and below the payload. It processed information from the IU's Inertial Measurement Unit and from other inputs, to give commands to keep the rocket on a desired course. Data was stored in the computer's memory in an arrray of magnetic cores--small doughnut-shaped pieces of magnetic material. The direction of magnetism in a core stored a binary one or zero.

Saturn rockets were used to launch Apollo payloads and the Skylab space station between 1968 and 1973. The core plane was manufactured by the IBM Corporation. NASA tranferred it to the Museum in 2011.