I was recently surprised by seeing a CAD software in the Scott Manley video that seems to be running on old computers in a command line like interface.

Which software is this? and is it still used by any space organization?

Is it BRL-CAD?

May 13, 2023 Scott Manley Video The Titan Rocket - From War Machine to Space Giant to Obsolescence

YouTube Transcript after 13:21 in the video:

And now we get to the Titan 4, and development of this actually began in the mid-1980s as the Air Force was looking for an expendable rocket to complement the space shuttle. Titan IV would use even larger 1207 solid rocket motors with seven segments. The core stage was stretched and two third stages were offered depending upon the payload requirements.

Screenshot at about 13:40 in the video:

screenshot of the May 13, 2023 Scott Manley Video The Titan Rocket - From War Machine to Space Giant to Obsolescence https://youtu.be/RvxT4bHP4y0

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ The retrocomputing SE may give you better answers if you don't get what you're looking for here. $\endgroup$ Commented May 14, 2023 at 21:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Looks too generic. IIRC there were oodles of CAD and CADCAM (or CADAM by Lockheed, source code supplied for client mods) during the 80s and command line and green on black were common for UI. Martin Marietta used Autodesk AutoCAD and FarbCAD, I'm not familiar with farbcads ui but the interface doesnt look quite like AutoCAD did, tho it was also green on black (i had a orange/black monitor at one point). The monitor is also not standard pc ware for the period, knobs usually being on the darker bevel. Bit of a long shot tbh $\endgroup$ Commented May 16, 2023 at 13:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I wonder if it's even really CAD or just some graphics program. $\endgroup$ Commented May 16, 2023 at 13:37
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ I'm almost certain that the image shown in the screenshot is not of a CAD program, but rather simply a vector image viewer program. Elements of the image are probably renderings from a CAD program, but as the view contains text labels and arrows, this seems to be just a visualizer. $\endgroup$
    – Dragongeek
    Commented May 16, 2023 at 15:56
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ distinction between computer aided DESIGN and computer aided DRAFTING computer aided ANALYSIS must be made. Also... major airframers often crated their own homebrew design applications. I was trained on early MCAD in the 80's and progressed from simplistic projected 2D to 3D wireframe to surfaced nurbs to full-blown relational solid modelers. Not 'autocad pc desktop' stuff but $50k+ per seat stuff running on unix machines. The brief image shown sure looks like a viewer rather than a design tool. $\endgroup$
    – BradV
    Commented May 16, 2023 at 17:08


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.