NASA Skylab Missions - 1974 Educational Space Documentary - WDTVLIVE42
Looks at the success and failures associated with America's first experimental space station. Designed for long duration mission, Skylab program objectives were twofold: To prove that humans could live and work in space for extended periods, and to expand our knowledge of solar astronomy well beyond Earth-based observations. Successful in all respects despite early mechanical difficulties, three three-man crews occupied the Skylab workshop for a total of 171 days, 13 hours. It was the site of nearly 300 scientific and technical experiments: medical experiments on humans' adaptability to zero gravity, solar observations, and detailed Earth resources experiments. The empty Skylab spacecraft returned to Earth July 11, 1979 scattering debris over the Indian Ocean and the sparsely settled region of Western Australia.
Mission Skylab 1: The unmanned space station was launched into orbit by a Saturn V booster on 14 May 1973. Almost immediately, technical problems developed due to vibrations during lift-off. A critical meteoroid shield ripped off taking one of the craft's two solar panels with it; a piece of the shield wrapped around the other panel keeping it from deploying. Skylab was maneuvered so its Apollo Telescope Mount (ATM) solar panels faced the Sun to provide as much electricity as possible. Because of the loss of the meteoroid shield, however, this positioning caused workshop temperatures to rise to 52 degrees Celsius (126 degrees F). The launch of Skylab 2 was postponed while NASA engineers, in an intensive 10-day period, developed procedures and trained the crew to make the workshop habitable. At the same time, engineers "rolled" Skylab to lower the temperature of the workshop.
Skylab synopsis courtesy . This film has been made available courtesy the US Department of Defence, NASAimages.org and the US National Archives.
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