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CDC 3800 Launch Computer Processor


Display Status:

This object is on display in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar room at Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

CDC 3800 Launch Computer Processor

Collection Item Summary:

This is the processor unit of the CDC 3800, a computer that was used at the Consolidated Space Test Center in Sunnyvale, California, to operate Air Force satellites from the 1960s through the early 1990s.

The CDC 3800 was a large mainframe computer optimized for handling problems that required a lot of numeric processing. Control Data Corporation of Minneapolis-St. Paul introduced the 3800 in the early 1960s. The 48-bit computer used discrete transistors for logic, had a memory of 128 kilobytes, and had a 48-bit word length. A full system cost about $1.9 million.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Transferred from the U.S. Air Force


  • Backplane: many short, thin insulated wires
  • Circuit cards: epoxy boards with metal connectors
  • Components: transistors, resistors with approximately 4 transistors per card
  • Doors: hinged Plexiglas and aluminum
  • Frame: steel chassis


3-D: 208.3 x 61 x 190.5cm (82 x 24 x 75 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America


INSTRUMENTS-Computers, General Purpose

Inventory Number


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