Further Teardown of the Saturn V Flight Computer

Depotting LVDC Components

[Fran] has been working on tearing down and reverse engineering the Saturn V Launch Vehicle Digital Computer (LVDC). In her finale, she’s succeeded in depotting the legacy components while keeping them intact.

She accomplished this by carefully removing the silicone compound using a gum brush. This was a laborious process, but it allowed her to see the device’s innards. With this knowledge, she could recreate the logic modules on a breadboard.

[Fran]‘s work on the LVDC has been very interesting. It began with a look at the PCB, followed by an x-ray analysis. Next up was a three part series of the teardown. With each part is a detailed video on the progress.

While this is the end of [Fran]‘s work on the project, she will be handing off the LVDC hardware to another engineer to continue the analysis. We’re looking forward to seeing what comes out of this continued research.


  1. Apex1302 says:

    wow the guys in the 60s went trough alot of work to fake a moon landing ;-)
    just kidding.
    Fran you are doing an awsome job there. I wish a had some Apollo or even better some Gemini Hardware to “play” with.

  2. Pyrofer says:

    They didn’t document the systems? I don’t understand why so much work is needed to reverse everything… One would hope that all the design specs, plans and layouts etc are all locked away safely…
    Or not.
    Amazing work to reverse it all, good to see such a big part of our history will be preserved. Or are they just doing it to sell to the Chinese for their one?

  3. rj says:

    Maybe I can’t read, but how does she know whether a given silicon die is a BJT or a dual diode?

  4. elmaragiah says:

    Reblogged this on Science and Technology Today.

  5. KleenexCommando says:

    This is a totally worthwhile endeavor tearing apart a tiny piece of a huge rocket that hasn’t been useful since the 1970s wherein all the technology has been obsolete for over 40 years… But who cares right? This is all soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo interesting even though you could probably find all the documentation on this junk, or find related data from similar parts of the era. But i’m sure the chips were all made exactly for this application from scratch just for this purpose and never used before or since and it’s soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo important that someone needs to waste years of her life to dredge it all back up because it will probably most likey cure aids or cancer or something……..

    • Jock Murphy says:

      Wow I didn’t know Fran was doing cancer research…

      So aside from (apparent) trolling, what is your point? People shouldn’t have hobbies? People shouldn’t do original research? We shouldn’t care about our past? We should all tailor our interests around you?

      Are we having fun the wrong way again?

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