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Skylab was America's first space station. It was built and designed by McDonnell Douglas aeronautics. It cost approximately 2.6 billion dollars to finance the entire project (Cromie, 138). Skylab proved that humans could survive, long term, in space. The Skylab program was also used to survey the Earth for natural resources. The program was also monitored the Sun. It also tested human's endurance in weightlessness.
The 100-ton Skylab was almost the size of a small house. The interior of the station measured 11334 feet in volume (Yenne,170). The dimensions of the station were 21.6feet at its widest point, and 48.1feet long.
The Skylab consisted of four units. Three of these units sustained life. The orbital workshop (OWS) contained crew quarters and work areas. The OWS was divided into two stories. The upper story had food storage and space suits. The lower story contained crew quarters and places for experiments. The airlock module (AM) contained the station's control and monitoring center. The AM also allowed access to the outside of the station. The Apollo Telescope Mount (ATM) a solar observatory. The multiple docking adapter (MDA) contained docking ports for the Apollo spacecraft. When docked, the Apollo module acted as part of the station.
Skylab 1 was launched on May 14,1973. Using a modified SATURN V rocket the station was sent into orbit (Cromie, 13). Skylab was set at an orbit of 270 miles (Cromie, 13). During the launch the meteorite shield was torn off. This shield not only protected against meteorites, it was coated with a special paint to resist heat. It acted as a shield from the Sun's heat. Also during the launch one of the Skylab's solar arrays was damaged. This would prove problems for the Skylab program.
The crew of Skylab 2 included Charles Conrad, Joseph Kerwin, and Paul J. Weitz. The Skylab 2 mission was launched on May 15,1973. This mission's objectives included repairing the space sta...
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