Encyclopedia Astronautica
1960.11.01 - Goddard Mercury computing and communications center operational.

The Goddard Space Flight Center computing and communications center became operational.

Goddard's mission was to serve as a communications center, and two IBM 7090 computers, operating in parallel, would compute the smoothed exact position at all times during the flight, predict future spacecraft positions, and shift the coordinates to provide acquisition information for all observation sites. In addition, Goddard calculated certain quantities needed for display purposes at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The importance of the Goddard computers was graphically demonstrated when they predicted the amount of overshoot within seconds after landing during the Mercury-Atlas 7 (MA-7, Carpenter) mission. This action significantly reduced the time to find and recover the astronaut.

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