Encyclopedia Astronautica
Skylab 3



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Saturn 1B LC39
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 3
Launch of Skylab 3/Saturn 1B space vehicle
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 3
View of the expended S-IVB second stage of Skylab 3 space vehicle
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 3
View of the Skylab space station cluster photographed against black sky
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 3
View of the Skylab space station cluster photographed against black sky
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 3
View of the Skylab space station cluster photographed against black sky
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 3
Astronaut Jack Lousma participates in EVA to deploy twin pole solar shield
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 3
Astronaut Owen Garriott participates in EVA to deploy twin pole solar shield
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 3
View of Astronaut Owen Garriott in sleep restraints
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 3
Astronaut Alan Bean flies the Astronaut Manoeuvring Equipment
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 3
View of Arabella, one of two Skylab spiders and her web
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 3
Astronaut Jack Lousma participates in EVA to deploy twin pole solar shield
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 3
Astronaut Owen Garriott participates in EVA to deploy twin pole solar shield
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 3
Skylab Astronaut participates in EVA to deploy twin pole solar shield
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 3
Dummy left behind by Skylab 3 crew for the Skylab 4 crew
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 3
Snow covered Alps of France, Italy, and Switzerland
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 3
View of a portion of Great Britain looking north-eastward
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 3
Border area of Turkey-Iran Union of Soviet Socialist Republic
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 3
Hurricane Ellen over the Atlantic Ocean taken by Skylab 3 crewmen
Credit: NASA
Crew: Bean, Garriott, Lousma. Installed twinpole solar shield on EVA; performed major inflight maintenance; doubled record for length of time in space. Leaks in Apollo CSM thrusters led to preparation of a rescue mission. Decided to make landing with faulty thrusters instead. Backup crew: Brand, Lenoir, Lind.

Continued maintenance of the Skylab space station and extensive scientific and medical experiments. Installed twinpole solar shield on EVA; performed major inflight maintenance; doubled record for length of time in space. Completed 858 Earth orbits and 1,081 hours of solar and Earth experiments; three EVAs totalled 13 hours, 43 minutes.

The space vehicle, consisting of a modified Apollo command and service module payload on a Saturn IB launch vehicle, was inserted into a 231.3 by 154.7 km orbit. Rendezvous maneuvers were performed during the first five orbits as planned. During the rendezvous, the CSM reaction control system forward firing engine oxidizer valve leaked. The quad was isolated. Station-keeping with the Saturn Workshop began approximately 8 hours after liftoff, with docking being performed about 30 minutes later.

Skylab-3 MANHOUR UTILIZATION
 
MEDICAL ACTIVITIES            312.5   "        8.0   "
SOLAR OBSERVATIONS            305.1   "        7.8   "
EARTH RESOURCES               223.5   "        5.7   "
OTHER EXPERIMENTS             243.6   "        6.2   "
SLEEP, REST & OFF
             DUTY            1224.5   "       31.2   "
PRE/POST SLEEP &
           EATING             975.7   "       24.8   "
HOUSEKEEPING                  158.4   "        4.0   "
PHYSICAL TRAINING
& PERSONAL HYGIENE            202.2   "        5.2   "
OTHER (EVA) ETC               279.7   "        7.1   "
 
                    TOTAL:   3925.2   "      100     "

AKA: Skylab.
Location: NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH.
First Launch: 1973.07.28.
Last Launch: 1973.09.25.
Duration: 59.46 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Lind Lind, Dr Don Leslie (1930-) American physicist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-51-B. Longest wait for an American for a spaceflight after becoming an astronaut (19 years). More...
  • Garriott Garriott, Dr Owen Kay (1930-) American scientist mission specialist astronaut. Flew on Skylab 3, STS-9. More...
  • Brand Brand, Vance DeVoe (1931-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Apollo (ASTP), STS-5, STS-41-B, STS-35. More...
  • Bean Bean, Alan LaVerne 'Al' (1932-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Apollo 12, Skylab 3. Fourth person to walk on the moon. More...
  • Lousma Lousma, Jack Robert (1936-) American pilot astronaut. Flew on Skylab 3, STS-3. More...
  • Lenoir Lenoir, Dr William Benjamin 'Bill' (1939-) American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-5. More...

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Apollo CSM American manned lunar orbiter. 22 launches, 1964.05.28 (Saturn 6) to 1975.07.15 (Apollo (ASTP)). The Apollo Command Service Module was the spacecraft developed by NASA in the 1960's as a standard spacecraft for earth and lunar orbit missions. More...

See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA Houston American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. Houston, Houston, USA. More...

Associated Programs
  • Skylab First and only US space station to date. Project began life as Apollo Orbital Workshop - outfitting of an S-IVB stage with docking adapter with equipment launched by several subsequent S-1B launches. Curtailment of the Apollo moon landings meant that surplus Saturn V's were available, so the pre-equipped, five times heavier, and much more capable Skylab resulted. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...

Skylab 3 Chronology


1973 June 11 - July 28 - . LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB.
  • Skylab 3 space vehicle was moved to pad. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab 3. The Skylab 3 space vehicle was moved to KSC Launch Complex 39, Pad B, on 11 June in preparation for launch. The space vehicle consisted of a Saturn IB launch vehicle S-IB-207 first stage, S-IVB-207 second stage, and a S-IU-208 instrument unit; a CSM; and a spacecraft lunar module adapter. Additional Details: here....

1973 July 3 - .
  • Launch date of Skylab 3 set. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab 3. Spacecraft: Skylab. Summary: The launch date for Skylab 3 was officially established as 28 July 1973. . Additional Details: here....

1973 July 12 - .
  • Joint Skylab 3 flight readiness reviews. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab 3. Summary: Joint Skylab 3 flight readiness reviews and thermal shield design certification reviews were held at KSC. A comprehensive series of center reviews were completed before, and in preparation for, the flight readiness reviews..

1973 July 25 - .
  • Planning meetings for the 59-day Skylab 3 mission. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab 3. Twice-weekly experiment planning meetings were being instituted for the 59-day Skylab 3 mission. The purpose of the meetings was to formulate a balanced set of experiment requirements for each upcoming week based on a consideration of plans for the remainder of the mission.

1973 July 28 - . 11:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB. LV Configuration: Saturn IB SA-207.
  • Skylab 3 - . Call Sign: Skylab. Crew: Bean; Garriott; Lousma. Backup Crew: Brand; Lenoir; Lind. Payload: Apollo CSM 117. Mass: 20,121 kg (44,359 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bean; Garriott; Lousma; Brand; Lenoir; Lind. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Skylab. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Flight: Skylab 3. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Duration: 59.46 days. Decay Date: 1973-09-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 6757 . COSPAR: 1973-050A. Apogee: 442 km (274 mi). Perigee: 422 km (262 mi). Inclination: 50.0000 deg. Period: 93.20 min. Continued maintenance of the Skylab space station and extensive scientific and medical experiments. Installed twinpole solar shield on EVA; performed major inflight maintenance; doubled record for length of time in space. Completed 858 Earth orbits and 1,081 hours of solar and Earth experiments; three EVAs totalled 13 hours, 43 minutes.

    The space vehicle, consisting of a modified Apollo command and service module payload on a Saturn IB launch vehicle, was inserted into a 231.3 by 154.7 km orbit. Rendezvous maneuvers were performed during the first five orbits as planned. During the rendezvous, the CSM reaction control system forward firing engine oxidizer valve leaked. The quad was isolated. Station-keeping with the Saturn Workshop began approximately 8 hours after liftoff, with docking being performed about 30 minutes later.


1973 July 28 - September 25 - .
  • Skylab 3 activation activities curtailed. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab 3. Spacecraft: Skylab; Apollo ATM. The Skylab 3 crewmen experienced motion sickness during the first three visit days. Consequently, the Orbital Workshop activation and experiment implementation activities were curtailed. By adjusting the crew's diet and maintaining a low workload, the crew was able to complete the adjustment to space flight in five days, after which flight activities returned to normal. On 25 September, the command module was reactivated and the crew performed the final OWS closeout. Following undocking and separation, the command module entered the atmosphere and landed in the Pacific Ocean approximately 300 km southwest of San Diego. Splashdown was at 6:20 p.m. EDT. The recovery ship, U.S.S. New Orleans, retrieved the command module and crew 42 minutes after landing. The total flight time was 1427 hours 9 minutes 4 seconds. Additional Details: here....

1973 August 2 - .
  • Skylab 3 RCS problems - . Nation: USA. Flight: Skylab 3. On 2 August the service module reaction control system engines were inhibited, and the isolation valves closed because of another leak. Acceptable control modes and deorbit and entry procedures were defined, consistent with the constraints imposed by the two reaction control system problems.

1973 August 6 - .
  • Anomalies during micrometeoroid shield testing. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab 3. Spacecraft: Skylab. Summary: Anomalies that had occurred during micrometeoroid shield testing were summarized.. Additional Details: here....

1973 August 7 - . 17:30 GMT - .
  • EVA Skylab 3-1 - . Crew: Garriott; Lousma. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.27 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Garriott; Lousma. Program: Skylab. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Skylab 3. Spacecraft: Skylab. Installed second sunshade. Replaced solar camera film cartridges. During EVA by crew members of Skylab 3, a twin-boom sunshade, developed by MSFC, was deployed over the parasol of the OWS. A redesigned and refined thermal parasol had been launched with Skylab 3. However, its use would have required jettisoning the parasol deployed by crew members of Skylab 2, with the possibility of creating the same thermal problems that existed on the OWS prior to the parasol deployment. Following erection of the twin-pole sunshade, the cabin temperature stayed at a comfortable 293-297 K (67.7°F-74.9°F).

1973 August 24 - . 16:24 GMT - .
  • EVA Skylab 3-2 - . Crew: Garriott; Lousma. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.19 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Garriott; Lousma. Program: Skylab. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Skylab 3. Spacecraft: Skylab. Summary: Replaced solar camera film cartridges; installed replacement gyroscopes..

1973 September - .
  • Skylab Rescue (cancelled) - . Crew: Brand; Lind. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Brand; Lind. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab Rescue; Skylab 3. Spacecraft: Apollo Rescue CSM. Influenced by the stranded Skylab crew portrayed in the book and movie 'Marooned', NASA provided a crew rescue capability for the only time in its history. A kit was developed to fit out an Apollo command module with a total of five crew couches. In the event a Skylab crew developed trouble with its Apollo CSM return craft, a rescue CSM would be prepared and launched to rendezvous with the station. It would dock with the spare second side docking port of the Skylab docking module. During Skylab 3, one of the thruster quads of the Apollo service module developed leaks. When the same problem developed with a second quad, the possibility existed that the spacecraft would not be maneuverable. Preparation work began to fit out a rescue CSM, and astronauts Vance Brand and Don Lind began preparations to rescue astronauts Bean, Garriott, and Lousma aboard the station. However the problem was localized, work arounds were developed, and the first space rescue mission was not necessary. The Skylab 3 crew returned successfully in their own Apollo CSM at the end of their 59 day mission.

1973 September 18 - .
  • Fish and embryo to be returned to JSC by Skylab 3. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab 3. Summary: Fish and embryo that were part of a Skylab science demonstration would be returned to JSC by Skylab 3, provided that one or more of the fish were still alive at the time of deactivation. . Additional Details: here....

1973 September 21 - .
  • The final Earth resources experiment package pass for Skylab 3 ended. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab 3. Summary: In all, 39 Earth-oriented passes, six solar inertial passes, two Earth-limb surveys, and two lunar calibration sequences were completed. . Additional Details: here....

1973 September 22 - . 11:18 GMT - .
  • EVA Skylab 3-3 - . Crew: Bean; Garriott. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.11 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bean; Garriott. Program: Skylab. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Skylab 3. Spacecraft: Skylab. Summary: Replaced film cartridges for solar camera..

1973 September 25 - .
1973 September 25 - .
1973 October 4 - .
  • An ad hoc committee to analyze the vestibular problems which occurred in previous manned space flights. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab 3. An ad hoc committee was established to analyze the vestibular problems which occurred in previous manned space flights and to make recommendations concerning prevention and control on future flights. Particular emphasis was placed on the experiences of the Skylab 3 crew. As a result of the committee meeting, it was recommended that the crewmen of SL-4 take anti-motion-sickness medication immediately upon orbital insertion and follow this with periodic doses for the first three days of flight.

1973 October 24 - .
  • A review of Skylab 3 medical data and SL-4 mission planning was conducted by the NASA Administrator. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab 3. Among the items covered were a plan for measuring both the pre- and postflight cardiac outputs of the SL-4 crew; elimination of all activities in the deactivation sequence not absolutely required; and a plan for accommodation of the circadian shift necessary for missions of various durations.

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