Scrap dealer finds Apollo-era NASA computers in dead engineer’s basement | Ars Technica
A pair of Apollo-era NASA computers and hundreds of mysterious tape reels have been discovered in a deceased engineer’s basement in Pittsburgh, according to a NASA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report released in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.Most of the tapes are unmarked, but the majority of the rest appear to be instrumentation reels for Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11, NASA’s fly-by missions to Jupiter and Saturn.The two computers are so heavy that a crane was likely used to move the machines, the report concluded.Enlarge / Lots of blinky red lights. Does it go “bing!” too?NASAAt some point in the early 1970s, an IBM engineer working for NASA at the height of the Space Race took home the computers—and the mysterious tape reels. A scrap dealer, invited to clean out the deceased’s electronics-filled basement, discovered the computers. The devices were clearly labelled “NASA PROPERTY,” so the dealer called NASA to report the find.
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