Slide Rule, Space Vehicle Pocket Designer


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 gave approximate information on the design of deep space missions, showing the relationship among parameters such as payload weight, propellant weight, final spacecraft velocity, exhaust velocity, etc. 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:

Inventory Number


Credit Line

Gift of Martin Corporation, Denver Division


Country of Origin

United States of America


Plastic. Cardboard case.


Approximate: 12cm (4 3/4 in.) diameter

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

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


INSTRUMENTS-Computers, General Purpose