Slide Rule, Space Propulsion Calculator

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Display Status:

This object is on display in the Time and Navigation exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

This circular slide rule computes the relationship among the various parameters of a rocket-propelled space mission: the specific impulse of the rocket motor, the paylod weight, the desired trajectory, and velocity. It would not have been accurate enough for an engineer to use in planning a mission; they used detailed mathematical formulas, evaluated by digital computers. But the slide rule would have been very useful for managers, members of the trade press, news media, and government funding agencies, who needed to know the basics of a space mission.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

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

Manufacturer

Credit Line

Gift of General Electric Corporation

Materials

  • Slide Rule: plastic
  • Case: cardboard

Dimensions

Approximate: 17cm (6 11/16 in.) diameter

Country of Origin

United States of America

Type

INSTRUMENTS-Computers, General Purpose

Inventory Number

A20170086000