All About Mission Skylab
What is it?
Skylab was the United States first space station to be sent into space. The original idea came from Wernher von Braun, who had the intentions of using it to conduct studies in space and as another advancement in space exploration. This mission is famous for also being the 2nd space station launched into orbit. The name Skylab was selected from a NASA-wide name submission contest. It cost in total 2.2 billion dollars to build, as well as 5.5 million for one person to spend one day. Skylab would be launched in 1973 and would stay in orbit until 1979.
Over six years, three Skylab crews had spent time in the station. Skylab was outfitted for numerous situations, being a micro-gravity lab, a medical lab, an Earth-observing facility, and a place for crews to be stationed at. However, multiple problems occurred within Skylab. Once, some solar panels were destroyed, making the first crew replace them in order to restore full power to the station. Also, two potentially dangerous thruster leaks had to be repaired. The original plans were that after the last Skylab mission, it would remain in orbit for 8 to 10 years, but solar activity caused Skylab to fall back to earth and disintegrate upon re-entrance.
A picture of Skylab orbiting earth.
A diagram depicting Skylab and it's levels.
Wernher Von Braun
A portrait of Wernher Von Braun, who came up with the idea of Skylab.
How Has It Impacted Society?
Skylab has taught us lots of things to consider in the future with other space stations. By looking at the problems and damages caused to Skylab, we can learn from it and not make those types of mistakes as well. Skylab also showed that humans can stay in space for a long amount of time, as well. It had also observed and gathered more information about outer space that will help us in the future. For instance, staying in space has helped astronauts develop countermeasures to endure longer periods of time spent in space. These contributions will affect my life because the information gathered will help expand our knowledge of the unknown. New space stations continue to study and conduct researches so that perhaps colonizing new planets, creating stations for civilians as a cure for overpopulation, and other inventions may become real.