SKYLAB MISSION PROJECT

NELSON-MILLER AND THE SKYLAB MISSION PROJECT

Skylab was the United States' first space station, and the second space station visited by a human crew. It was also the only space station NASA launched alone. The 100-ton space station was in Earth's orbit from 1973 to 1979 and it was visited by crews three times in 1973 and 1974. The objectives of the Skylab program was to prove that humans could live and work in space for extended periods, and to expand our knowledge of solar astronomy well beyond Earth-based observations.

Ultimately, the Skylab program was a success in all respects and represents a major milestone in U.S. space exploration history. It was the site of nearly 300 scientific and technical experiments.

Nelson-Miller, continuing it’s tradition of supporting the NASA and U.S. space missions was selected to provide all of the nameplates on the Skylab Space Station, as well as the three missions that utilized Skylab.

In total Nelson-Miller provided more than 2,000 separate metal nameplates for the Skylab spacecraft and for the three missions that visited and lived on Skylab.

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE SKYLAB MISSION PROJECT

  • At the point of maximum vibration the crafts meteor shield was damaged. During the first revolution Skylab’s internal temperature became too high to sustain human life. Launching of the crew the following day received an indefinite hold.
  • Flight support on Earth was tasked with creating a thermal shield that could be deployed in space to make cabin inhabitable. By the 5th day of the mission, "The Parasol", was theorized which was then deployed in space. It worked.
  • After emergency repairs the temperature inside Skylab was safe enough for work to begin. 10 days after the initial launch date.
  • By noon Monday the 28th with the work shop completely activated medical experimentation could proceed.
    Medical experiments such as blood sampling, BMI, Basic Orientation, effects of exercise in zero gravity and more were performed.
  • Prospects looked right for a 28 day mission.
  • By day 5 in space power levels began to drop making the 28 day mission seemed probable.
  • In order to carry out the mission the Jam solar panel would need to be deployed in order to repower fuel cells.
  • The mission, which looked like it was doomed from the start, came together in the end.

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