File Description: The Skylab space station was launched May 14, 1973, from the NASA
Kennedy Space Center by a huge Saturn V launch vehicle, the moon
rocket of the Apollo Space Program. Sixty-three seconds after liftoff,
the meteoroid shield--designed also to shade Skylab's workshop
--deployed inadvertently. It was torn from the space station by
atmospheric drag. This event and its effects started a ten-day period
in which Skylab was beset with problems that had to be conquered
before the space station would be safe and habitable for the three
manned periods of its planned eight-month mission.
25 May 1973 13:00 GMT. Duration: 28.03 days. Call Sign: Skylab. Backup
Crew: McCandless, Musgrave, Schweickart. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA.
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Complex: LC39B. Launch Vehicle:
Saturn IB . LV Configuration: Saturn IB s/n SA-206. Program: Skylab.
Class: Manned. Type: Lunar spacecraft. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Payload
: Apollo CSM 116. Mass: 19,979 kg. Location of Spacecraft: Naval
Aviation Museum, Pensacola, FL. Perigee: 427 km. Apogee: 439 km.
Inclination: 50.0 deg. Period: 93.2 min.
Epic repair mission which brought Skylab into working order. Included
such great moments as Conrad being flung through space by the whiplash
after heaving on the solar wing just as the debris constraining it
gave way; deployment of a lightweight solar shield, developed in
Houston in one week, which brought the temperatures down to tolerable
levels. With this flight US again took manned spaceflight duration