Skylab 3

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Skylab 3
Skylab 3 Close-Up - GPN-2000-001711.jpg
Skylab as seen by the arriving Skylab 3 crew
Operator NASA
COSPAR ID 1973-050A
SATCAT no. 6757
Mission duration59 days, 11 hours, 09 minutes, 01 seconds
Distance travelled39,400,000 kilometers (24,500,000 mi)
Orbits completed858
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft Apollo CSM-117
Manufacturer North American Rockwell
Launch mass20,121 kilograms (44,359 lb)
Crew
Crew size3
Members
Start of mission
Launch dateJuly 28, 1973, 11:10:50 (1973-07-28UTC11:10:50Z) UTC
Rocket Saturn IB SA-207
Launch site Kennedy LC-39B
End of mission
Recovered by USS New Orleans
Landing dateSeptember 25, 1973, 22:19:51 (1973-09-25UTC22:19:52Z) UTC
Landing site 30°47′N120°29′W / 30.783°N 120.483°W / 30.783; -120.483
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Perigee altitude 423 kilometers (263 mi)
Apogee altitude 441 kilometers (274 mi)
Inclination 50.0 degrees
Period 93.2 minutes
Epoch August 8, 1973 [1]
Docking with Skylab
Docking portForward
Docking dateJuly 28, 1973, 19:37:00 UTC
Undocking dateSeptember 25, 1973, 11:16:42 UTC
Time docked58 days, 15 hours, 39 minutes, 42 seconds
Skylab2-Patch.png
Due to a NASA management error, crewed Skylab mission patches were designed in conflict with the official mission numbering scheme.
S73-28714.jpg
L-R: Garriott, Lousma and Bean
Skylab program
  Skylab 2
Skylab 4  
 

Skylab 3 (also SL-3 and SLM-2 [2] ) was the second crewed mission to the first American space station, Skylab. The mission began July 28, 1973, with the launch of three astronauts on the Saturn IB rocket, and lasted 59 days, 11 hours and 9 minutes. A total of 1,084.7 astronaut-utilization hours were tallied by the Skylab 3 crew performing scientific experiments in the areas of medical activities, solar observations, Earth resources, and other experiments.

Human spaceflight Space travel by humans

Human spaceflight is space travel with a crew or passengers aboard the spacecraft. Spacecraft carrying people may be operated directly, by human crew, or it may be either remotely operated from ground stations on Earth or be autonomous, able to carry out a specific mission with no human involvement.

Skylab 1st space station launched and operated by NASA

Skylab was the first space station launched and operated by NASA, occupied for about 24 weeks between May 1973 and February 1974. It was the only space station that the United States has operated exclusively. It fell back to Earth amid worldwide media attention in 1979. Skylab included a workshop, a solar observatory, and several hundred life science and physical science experiments.

Saturn IB

The Saturn IB was an American launch vehicle commissioned by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the Apollo program. It replaced the S-IV second stage of the Saturn I with the much more powerful S-IVB, able to launch a partially fueled Apollo command and service module (CSM) or a fully fueled Apollo Lunar Module (LM) into low Earth orbit for early flight tests before the larger Saturn V needed for lunar flight was ready.

Contents

The crewed Skylab missions were officially designated Skylab 2, 3, and 4. Mis-communication about the numbering resulted in the mission emblems reading "Skylab I", "Skylab II", and "Skylab 3" respectively. [2] [3]

Skylab 2 first crewed mission to Skylab

Skylab 2 was the first crewed mission to Skylab, the first U.S. orbital space station. The mission was launched on a Saturn IB rocket on May 25, 1973, and carried a three-person crew to the station. The name Skylab 2 also refers to the vehicle used for that mission. The Skylab 2 mission established a twenty-eight-day record for human spaceflight duration. Furthermore, its crew were the first space station occupants ever to return safely to Earth – the only previous space station occupants, the crew of the 1971 Soyuz 11 mission that had crewed the Salyut 1 station for twenty-four days, died upon reentry due to unexpected cabin depressurization.

Skylab 4 Third and final crewed mission to Skylab

Skylab 4 was the third crewed Skylab mission and placed the third and final crew aboard the first American space station.

Crew

Position Astronaut
Commander Alan L. Bean
Second and last spaceflight
Science Pilot Owen K. Garriott
First spaceflight
Pilot Jack R. Lousma
First spaceflight

Backup crew

Position Astronaut
Commander Vance D. Brand
Science Pilot William B. Lenoir
Pilot Don L. Lind

Support crew

Robert Crippen NASA astronaut, flew on the first space shuttle mission

Robert Laurel Crippen is an American retired naval officer and aviator, test pilot, aerospace engineer, and retired astronaut. He traveled into space four times: as Pilot of STS-1 in April 1981, the first Space Shuttle mission; and as Commander of STS-7 in June 1983, STS-41-C in April 1984, and STS-41-G in October 1984. Crippen received the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

Henry Hartsfield American astronaut

Henry Warren "Hank" Hartsfield Jr. was a United States Air Force officer and a USAF and NASA astronaut who logged over 480 hours in space.

William E. Thornton American astronaut

William Edgar Thornton (M.D.) is a former NASA astronaut. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from University of North Carolina and a doctorate in medicine, also from UNC. He flew on Challenger twice, the STS-8 and STS-51B missions.

Mission parameters

Days in Space
Mission
    Skylab 2
    28
    Skylab 3
    60
    Skylab 4
    84
    Orbital period time taken to make one complete orbit

    The orbital period is the time a given astronomical object takes to complete one orbit around another object, and applies in astronomy usually to planets or asteroids orbiting the Sun, moons orbiting planets, exoplanets orbiting other stars, or binary stars.

    Docking

    • Docked: July 28, 1973 – 19:37:00 UTC
    • Undocked: September 25, 1973 – 11:16:42 UTC
    • Time Docked: 58 days, 15 hours, 39 minutes, 42 seconds

    Space walks

    Garriott and Lousma — EVA 1
    Start: August 6, 1973, 17:30 UTC
    End: August 7, 00:01 UTC
    Duration: 6 hours, 31 minutes
    Garriott and Lousma — EVA 2
    Start: August 24, 1973, 16:24 UTC
    End: August 24, 20:55 UTC
    Duration: 4 hours, 31 minutes
    Bean and Garriott — EVA 3
    Start: September 22, 1973, 11:18 UTC
    End: September 22, 13:59 UTC
    Duration: 2 hours, 41 minutes

    Mission highlights

    Skylab 3 heads into orbit aboard a Saturn IB Skylab 3 Launch (19293032373).jpg
    Skylab 3 heads into orbit aboard a Saturn IB
    Astronaut Jack Lousma participates in an EVA SL3-117-2099.jpg
    Astronaut Jack Lousma participates in an EVA
    This shows an extreme ultraviolet view of the Sun (the Apollo Telescope Mount SO82A Experiment) taken during Skylab 3, with the Earth added for scale. On the right an image of the Sun shows a helium emissions, and there is an image on the left showing emissions from iron S74-15583skylabsunview.jpg
    This shows an extreme ultraviolet view of the Sun (the Apollo Telescope Mount SO82A Experiment) taken during Skylab 3, with the Earth added for scale. On the right an image of the Sun shows a helium emissions, and there is an image on the left showing emissions from iron

    During the approach phase, a propellant leak developed in one of the Apollo Service Module's reaction control system thruster quads. The crew was able to safely dock with Skylab, but troubleshooting continued with the problem. Six days later, another thruster quad developed a leak, creating concern amongst Mission Control. For the first time, an Apollo spacecraft would be rolled out to Launch Complex 39 for a rescue mission, made possible by the ability for the station to have two Apollo CSMs docked at the same time. It was eventually determined that the CSM could be safely maneuvered using only two working thruster quads, and the rescue mission was never launched.

    Skylab Rescue

    The Skylab Rescue Mission was a backup rescue flight as part of a contingency plan for the Skylab space station. It used a modified Apollo Command Module that could be launched with a crew of two and return a crew of five.

    The crew, during their first EVA, installed the twin-pole sunshade, one of the two solutions for the destruction of the micrometeoroid shield during Skylab's launch to keep the space station cool. It was installed over the parasol, which was originally deployed through a porthole airlock during Skylab 2. Both were brought to the station by Skylab 2.

    Extravehicular activity Activity done by an astronaut or cosmonaut outside a spacecraft

    Extravehicular activity (EVA) is any activity done by an astronaut or cosmonaut outside a spacecraft beyond the Earth's appreciable atmosphere. The term most commonly applies to a spacewalk made outside a craft orbiting Earth, but also has applied to lunar surface exploration performed by six pairs of American astronauts in the Apollo program from 1969 to 1972. On each of the last three of these missions, astronauts also performed deep-space EVAs on the return to Earth, to retrieve film canisters from the outside of the spacecraft. Astronauts also used EVA in 1973 to repair launch damage to Skylab, the United States' first space station.

    Skylab 3 continued a comprehensive medical research program that extended the data on human physiological adaptation and readaptation to space flight collected on the previous Skylab 2 mission. In addition, Skylab 3 extended the astronauts' stay in space from approximately one month to two months. Therefore, the effects of flight duration on physiological adaptation and readaptation could be examined.

    A set of core medical investigations were performed on all three Skylab crewed missions. These core investigations were the same basic investigations that were performed on Skylab 2, except that the Skylab 3 inflight tests were supplemented with extra tests based on what researchers learned from the Skylab 2 science results. For example, only leg volume measurements, preflight and postflight stereophotogrammetry, and in-flight maximum calf girth measurements were originally scheduled for all three Skylab missions.

    In-flight photographs from Skylab 2 revealed the "puffy face syndrome" which prompted the addition of in-flight torso and limb girth measurements to gather more data on the apparent headward fluid shift on Skylab 3. Other additional tests included arterial blood flow measurements by an occlusive cuff placed around the leg, facial photographs taken before flight and during flight to study the "puffy face syndrome", venous compliance, hemoglobin, urine specific gravity, and urine mass measurements. These inflight tests gave additional information about fluid distribution and fluid balance to get a better understanding of the fluid shift phenomena.

    The Skylab 3 biological experiments studied the effects of microgravity on mice, fruit flies, single cells and cell culture media. Human lung cells were flown to examine the biochemical characteristics of cell cultures in the microgravity environment. The two animal experiments were entitled Chronobiology of Pocket Mice and Circadian Rhythm in Vinegar Gnats. Both experiments were unsuccessful due to a power failure 30 hours after launch, which killed the animals. [4]

    High school students from across the United States participated in the Skylab missions as the primary investigators of experiments that studied astronomy, physics, and fundamental biology. The student experiments performed on Skylab 3 included the study of libration clouds, X-rays from Jupiter, in-vitro immunology, spider web formation, cytoplasmic streaming, mass measurement, and neutron analysis.

    The crew's health was assessed on Skylab by collecting data on dental health, environmental and crew microbiology, radiation, and toxicological aspects of the Skylab orbital workshop. Other assessments were made of astronaut maneuvering equipment and of the habitability of the crew quarters, and crew activities/maintenance experiments were examined on Skylab 2 through 4 to better understand the living and working aspects of life in space.

    Mission insignia

    The circular crew patch was Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man , representing the mission's medical experiments and retouched to remove the genitalia. In the background is a disk that is half Sun (including sunspots) and half Earth to represent the experiments done on the flight. The patch has a white background, the crew's names and "Skylab II" with a red, white and blue border. The wives of the crew secretly had an alternate graphic made of a 'universal woman' with their first names in place of the crew's. Stickers with this on them were put in lockers aboard the Command Module to surprise the crew. [5]

    Spacecraft location

    The Skylab 3 Command Module being moved to the Great Lakes Science Center Skylab 3 Apollo Command Module.JPG
    The Skylab 3 Command Module being moved to the Great Lakes Science Center

    The Apollo Command Module used on Skylab 3 is currently on display at the visitor's center of the NASA Glenn Research Center at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio. [6]

    The module used to be at Glenn visitor center, and was moved to the Great Lakes Science Center in June 2010. [7] It took a year to plan and US$120,000 to move the capsule. [7]

    See also

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    References

    1. McDowell, Jonathan. "SATCAT". Jonathan's Space Pages. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
    2. 1 2 "Skylab Numbering Fiasco". Living in Space. William Pogue Official WebSite. 2007. Archived from the original on February 2, 2009. Retrieved February 7, 2009.
    3. Pogue, William. "Naming Spacecraft: Confusion Reigns". collectSPACE. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
    4. Souza, Kenneth; Hogan, Robert; Ballard, Rodney. "Programs, Missions, and Payloads – Skylab 3". Life into Space: Space Life Sciences Experiment. NASA. Archived from the original on March 21, 2009. Retrieved February 9, 2009.
    5. Lattimer, Dick All We Did Was Fly To The Moon pp.107–9 with image ISBN   0961122803
    6. "NASA Glenn Visitor Center". NASA Glenn Visitor Center. Great Lakes Science Center. Archived from the original on August 9, 2012. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
    7. 1 2 Navratil, Liz. "Skylab space capsule lands at Cleveland's Great Lakes Science Center". Cleveland.com. Retrieved April 15, 2019.