Encyclopedia Astronautica
Skylab Lunar Orbit Station

Skylab Cutaway
Cutaway of the Skylab space station.
Credit: NASA
American manned lunar orbiter. Study 1970. McDonnell Douglas (Seal Beach, CA) did a study on modifying the to modify the Skylab as a moon-orbiting observatory and station

Jim Craig recalls:

I proposed this to MD in 1970 (as a 12 year-old!), with sketches and mission summary that I hand drew. The proposal would sent a "wet-tank" S-IVB stage Skylab to a moon orbit, the crew quarters to be further outfitted by subsequent Apollo crews after excess fuel purging. The station would conduct in-depth scientific surveys and mapping of the moon.

A company vice president sent me a nice letter in response, along with a copy of their own internal study of this mission (great minds think alike!). Unfortunately, I have lost both over the years.

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Associated Countries
See also
  • Lunar Orbiters Manned lunar orbiters and orbiting stations were rarely designed for this purpose alone, but usually used in a lunar-orbit rendezvous lunar landing scenario together with a separate lunar lander. They were more powerful than circumlunar manned spacecraft in that they required substantial propellant to brake into and get out of lunar orbit. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Saturn V American orbital launch vehicle. America's booster for the Apollo manned lunar landing. The design was frozen before a landing mode was selected; the Saturn V could be used for either Earth-Orbit-Rendezvous or Lunar-Orbit-Rendezvous methods. The vehicle ended up with the same payload capability as the 'too large' Nova. The basic diameter was dictated by the ceiling height at the Michoud factory selected for first stage manufacture. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
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