Apollo Program vs. Google – Computing Power

17 09 2012

 

We recently came across an article over at Search Engine Land that quoted a Google blog post about how a single Google search uses as much computing power as the entire Apollo moon mission program did in total!

 

Google says:

The Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) on board the lunar module (LM) executed instructions at a speed of about 40 KHz (or 0.00004 GHz), about 100,000 times slower than a high-end laptop today. There was also a similar real-time computer built into the Saturn V rocket. On the ground, NASA had access to some of the most powerful computers of the day: five IBM model 360/75 mainframe computers, each about 250 times faster than the AGC. They were running nearly 24/7, calculating lift-off data and orbits, monitoring biomedical data during the mission, and performing numerous other calculations.

We compared that to what Google does today, and we found that:

It takes about the same amount of computing to answer one Google Search query as all the computing done — in flight and on the ground — for the entire Apollo program!

 

This image above is actually a control computer from a spy satellite, probably significantly more advanced than the Apollo computers, but it is of the era.

 

RIP Neil Armstrong

Advertisements

Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: