The Mission and Spacecraft Library


Skylab picture Skylab was the first US orbiting space station. Technical problems arose during liftoff. Vibrations caused a critical meteoroid shield to rip 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. The loss of the shield caused workshop temperatures to rise to 52 deg C (126 deg F). Launch of the crew was delayed for 10 days to develop procedures and crew training to make the workshop habitable. Skylab reentered on July 11, 1979.

The total dimensions of the Skylab 1 space station is approximately 84 feet long and 22 feet diameter (at widest point).

Imaging cameras. White-light coronagraph. Ultraviolet scanning polychromator- spectroheliometer. Extreme ultraviolet and X-ray telescope. Space manufacturing experiments. Externally mounted Earth resources instruments included a multispectral imaging camera, an Earth terrain camera, an infrared spectrometer, a multispectral scanner, a microwave radiometer/scatterometer and altimeter, and an L-band microwave radiometer.

Country of Origin United States
Customer/User NASA
Size Multiple Docking Adapter: 17 ft x 10 ft diameter / Apollo telescope Mount: 13 ft x 10 ft diameter / Airlock Module: 18 ft x 10 ft diameter / Instrument Unit: 3 ft x 22 ft diameter / Orbital Workshop: 48 ft x 22 ft diameter
Orbit 400 km circular, 50 deg inclination

Launch Facts
 Name  Int'l Desig.  Date  Site  Vehicle  Orbit  Mass(kg)
 Skylab 1  1973-027A  5/14/73  ESMC  Saturn 5  LEO  74783
 Skylab 2  1973-032A  5/25/73  ESMC  Saturn 1B  LEO  19979
    Carried Pete Conrad, Joe Kerwin, Paul Weitz to Skylab space station
 Skylab 3  1973-050A  7/28/73  ESMC  Saturn 1B  LEO  20121
    Carried Jack Lousma, Owen Garriott, Alan Bean to Skylab space station
 Skylab 4  1973-090A  11/16/73  ESMC  Saturn 1B  LEO  20847
    Carried Ed Gibson, Bill Pogue, Jerry Carr to Skylab space station

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