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NASA Facts Skylab 1973-1974

NASA Facts Skylab 1973-1974

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Published by Bob Andrepont
NASA Facts booklet on the Skylab program.
NASA Facts booklet on the Skylab program.

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Published by: Bob Andrepont on Nov 28, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The unmanned Saturn Workshop was launched May 14 at 12:30 p.m.Central Daylight Time (1730 Greenwich Mean Time) atop a Saturn V launchvehicle from Pad A of Launch Complex 39 at Kennedy SpaceCenter, Florida.The workshop's initial orbit was 269 miles circular with an inclination tothe equator of 50 degrees.An hour after launch, ground controllers still were waiting for confirma-tion that the workshop's solar arrays had deployed, a signal they never
Analysis of launch data showed a failure of the meteoroid shield some 63seconds nto the flight. Slight deployment of one of the two solar array wings,which provided about half of the electrical power used in Skylab, also was
The board appointed to investigate the failures reported on July 19 "Ofseveral possible failure modes of the meteoroid shield. ..the most probable...was internal pressurization of its auxiliary tunnel which acted to force theforward end of the meteoroid shield away from the shell of the workshop andinto the supersonic air stream."The breakup of the meteoroid shield, in turn, broke the tie downs thatsecured one of the solar array systems. ...Complete loss of this solar arraysystem occurred at 593 seconds when the exhaust plume of the SolI stageretro-rockets impacted the partially deployed solar array system."In the hours after launch, NASA and contractor personnel worked tosalvage he mission in the face of mounting trouble.Skylab was maneuvered so its telescope mount solar arrays faced the Sunto provide as much electricity as possible. But in this attitude Skylab, withoutthe meteoroid shield that was to protect against solar heating as well, got toowarm -up to 126 degreesF inside.Several NASA centers designed various thermal shields of reflective clothto protect the workshop's exposed areas from direct sunlight. Three shieldswere decided upon -a parasol type to be deployed through an experimentsairlock in the lab was the primary device, a "sail" to be drawn up over atwin-pole frame, and a similar sail to be deployed from the command modulewere alternatives.CONRAD
Pete Conrad, Joe Kerwin, and Paul Weitz lifted offComplex 39's Pad B on a Saturn IB at 8 a.m. CDT May25 after twice being rescheduled.Rendezvous was in the fifth revolution and, after anhour and a half of station keeping, the crew docked andfinished preparations for a fly-around inspection andstand-up extravehicular activity (SEV A).Weitz stood in the open hatch while Kerwin held himby the legs and Conrad maneuvered the command-servicemodule. The scientific airlock was reported free of debris,one solar array system completely gone, the otherdeployed 5 to 10 degrees and jammed there by analuminum strap.In the 75-rninute SEVA, Weitz attempted but wasunable to cut or pry loose the strap.At 10:50 p.m., after five attempts, the crew redockedwith Skylab. They spent the night in the commandmodule.The next day, following procedures completed only 2days before, the crew deployed the parasol sunshade. ByJune 4, temperatures inside the orbital workshop weredown to 75 degrees.
KERWIN: "In the lower body negative pressure device, we allexperienced some degradation objectively on the measurements ofour ability to pool blood. ..in the lower extremities, which iswhat lower body negative pressure does."
Another power problem occurred May 30 when fourof 18 battery packs in the telescope mount power supplysystem showed they were taking less than one-half chargefrom the solar arrays, a result of overheating during theunmanned period.While the crew continued a power-limited schedule ofexperiments and observations, mission support personnelworked out and tested procedures to free the jammedsolar wing.Radioed to Sky ab one day, practiced inside theworkshop the next, the procedures were used on Day 14of the mission, June 7.Conrad and Kerwin spent about 4 hours and 10minutes in extravehicuJar activity. They freed the array,and within hours the electric power supply was such thata mission close to the original plan was authorized.On June 19, the 26th mission day, Conrad and Weitzwent EVA for 96 minutes to retrieve film from thetelescope mount. Conrad also reactivated a battery regu-lator relay -he tapped the case with a hammer.Splashdown came at 28 days 50 minutes, June 22,some 830 miles southwest of San Diego, California.When the three crewmen emerged from their space-craft on the deck of the recovery ship U S S Ticonderoga,they appeared wobbly but well, dispelling fears that thehuman body could not function after 4 weeks in theweightlessnessof space.Kerwin, the medical expert in the crew, said in apostflight press conference "It was a continuous andpleasant surprise to me to find out how easy it was to livein zero g, and how good you felt."The first Sky ab crew recommended increased exercisefor those to follow.In spite of the problems encountered, the first mannedmission successfully accomplished most objectives estab-lished for it..Some 80 percent of planned solar data wasobtained, with a major. scientific accomplishmentin the monitoring of a solar flare..11 of 14 planned Earth resources data runs wereaccomplished..Data were taken on all scheduled experimentsexcept those involving the scientific airlock
(through which the sunshade ad been deployed)
or those curtailed by power or weight ljmitations..All 16 medical experiments were conducted, andthe time history of man's adaptation to zero g wasobtained for the first time..Data were obtained on five student investigations,with two others rescheduled for the second visit.
CONRAD: "Okay, Houston, it looks like the meteoroid shield atthe upper thick panel on the SAS plank has wrapped around it justslightly, Now my guess is that our easiest thing to do is just go tothe end and try and deploy it,"
Skylab experiments data and film were delivered tothe appropriate principal investigator for analysis orprocessing at his direction. In many cases, completeanalysis of data may require years; however, significantfindings are released to scientific journals and the newsmedia as they occur.Sources of photographic prints from experiments f11mor from the general mission photography are isted on thelast page of this report.

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Tami Hammac added this note
I have this original publication " NASA FACTS" Skylab 1973-1974, anyone know of its worth or where I can do research?

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