Evolution of Real-Time Computer Systems for Manned Spaceflight
by S. E. James
This paper describes the evolution of ground-based command and control systems used to support NASA's manned spaceflight program; it is an encapsulation of twenty years of development of real-time command and control systems at NASA's Real-Time Computer Complex (RTCC) in Houston, Texas. A brief description of manned spaceflight programs, their accomplishments, and IBM's involvement is provided as background information. Emphasis is given to the development of RTCC systems, as well as to the technological and architectural changes affecting this development. Also described are experiences gained in the management of complex, real-time software systems and the tools and techniques used in the development process.