Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) Display and Keyboard (DSKY) unit, signed on the bottom in black felt tip by the Apollo program's last Lunar Module Pilot, "Jack Schmitt, Apollo 17." The data entry and display device measures 8.5″ x 8″ x 6.75″, and has 19 keys and an elecroluminescent alphanumeric display. The back of the unit retains its NASA/Raytheon Co. metal label which reads, “Apollo G & N System, DSKY Assembly, Part No. 2003994-000, Serial No. RAY XX, Cont. No. NAS 9-497." This example is a thermal test unit: the keys are functional and the display likely works, but the internal circuitry is not complete. Thermal test procedures were important in qualifying Apollo hardware for flight, and included operational tests under thermal extremes, temperature cycling, and vibration tests; these procedures were given increased attention in developing Block II equipment following the Apollo 1 fire. In overall fine condition.
This interface was the instrument that allowed the astronauts to communicate directly with the on board guidance computer. The Command Module had two DSKYs connected to its AGC: one located on the main instrument panel and a second located in the lower equipment bay near a sextant used for aligning the inertial guidance platform, with a single DSKY installed in the Lunar Module. These units would also be used during the Skylab missions. Each AGC program had a two-digit code displayed on the screen, and commands were entered via a numerical keypad as two-digit numbers in a verb-noun sequence. It was the DSKY that provided the astronauts with critical burn times for engine firings, course corrections, trajectories, and other key calculations vital in getting a crew to and from the moon. The DSKY also reported the program alarm moments before the LM touched down on the lunar surface on the first lunar landing. DSKY units are among the most recognizable and historically significant of all Apollo spacecraft parts.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.