Computers and Nuclear Bombs in 1963

The Syfy show Ascension has the premise of a Project Orion generation ship launched in 1963.

A 600 person cruise ship size vehicle would not be able to advance the state of the art in computer hardware. All the monitors would remain cathode ray tube. They would not have the means to fabricate a new generation of computing. Unlike the Apollo mission, a Project Orion mission would not have strict weight limitations. Thousands of tons of material could be taken.

What were the computers and nuclear bombs that existed in 1963 ?

The CDC 1604 was a 48-bit computer designed and manufactured by Seymour Cray and his team at the Control Data Corporation (CDC). The first 1604 was delivered to the US Navy in 1960 for applications supporting major Fleet Operations Control Centers in Hawaii, London, and Norfolk, Virginia. By 1964, over 50 systems were built. The CDC 3000 succeeded the 1604. Memory in the CDC 1604 consisted of 32K 48-bit words of magnetic core memory with a cycle time of 6.4 microseconds. It was organized as two banks of 16K words each, with odd addresses in one bank and even addresses in the other. The two banks were phased 3.2 microseconds apart, so average effective memory access time was 4.8 microseconds. The computer executed about 100,000 operations per second.

The CDC 3000 series computers from Control Data Corporation were mid-1960s follow-ons to the CDC 1604 and CDC 924 systems. The upper 3000 series used a 48-bit word size. The first machine to be produced was the CDC 3600; first delivered in June 1963. All 3000 series computers used core memory.

Magnetic-core memory was the predominant form of random-access computer memory for 20 years (circa 1955–75). It uses tiny magnetic toroids (rings), the cores, through which wires are threaded to write and read information. Each core represents one bit of information

Core memory. 32X32

Actually it would be more realistic for the 1963 nuclear spaceship to be fitted with electronics similar to a nuclear submarine.

Nuclear bombs

The number of nuclear bombs was peaking in 1963 with about 30,000.