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Skylab Information

Skylab Home Page 

Skylab Goals

Flight Summary

Skylab Statistics

Operations Summary

Skylab  1, 2 , 3, & 4


Skylab Flight Summary

May 14, 1973 - February 18, 1974

Skylab 1 

May 14, 1973

Unmanned the station was launched into orbit by a Saturn V booster. 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 2 

May 25, 1973 - June 22, 1973 

Charles Conrad, Jr., Paul J. Weitz, Joseph P. Kerwin; 28 days, 50 minutes First manned mission. The crew rendezvoused with Skylab on the fifth orbit. After making substantial repairs, including deployment of a parasol sunshade which cooled the inside temperatures to 23.8 degrees C (75 degrees F), by June 4 the workshop was in full operation. In orbit the crew conducted solar astronomy and Earth resources experiments, medical studies, and five student experiments; 404 orbits and 392 experiment hours were completed; three EVAs totaled six hours, 20 minutes. 

Skylab 3 

July 28, 1973 - September 25, 1973 

Alan L. Bean, Jack R. Lousma, Owen K. Garriott; 59 days, 11 hours Continued maintenance of the space station and extensive scientific and medical experiments. Completed 858 Earth orbits and 1,081 hours of solar and Earth experiments; three EVAs totaled 13 hours, 43 minutes. 

Skylab 4 

November 16, 1973 - February 8, 1974 

Gerald P. Carr, William R. Pogue, Edward G. Gibson; 84 days, 01 hour Last of the Skylab missions; included observation of the Comet Kohoutek among numerous experiments. Completed 1,214 Earth orbits and four EVAs totaling 22 hours, 13 minutes.


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