Three astronauts - William Pogue, Edward Gibson and Gerald Carr -- are preparing for the third and final Skylab mission.
Three astronauts - William Pogue, Edward Gibson and Gerald Carr -- are preparing for the third and final Skylab mission. They are due to be launched on November 10th - provided all technical problems are solved and will stay in the space laboratory for a record 70 days.
The astronauts will continue the scientific experiments, and examination of the medical and physiological effects of space-flight. The Skylab, orbiting two-hundred and seventy-five miles about the earth's surface, provides unique opportunities for observing both the solar system and the earth. Edward Gibson, a specialist in solar physics, will be paying special attention to the outer edge of the sun. Gibson claims that Skylab has already provided much new information about the sun. He will also have the chance to observe the Comet Kohoutek, which will become visible in late November. Astronomiets say that it could be one of the most remarkable comets since the beginning of the century, and views of it from the Skylab could provide new evidence on the origins of the solar system. Finally, the astronauts will look downwards to the earth's surface. Previous skylab missions have spotted new areas of high mineral content and given warning of typhoons and hurricanes. Carr, Gibson and Pogue will be looking mainly for signs of environmental pollution.
The astronauts should blast off on November 10th, although there is the possibility of a delay because of trouble with the rocket fuel tanks. The next U.S. space mission, planned for 1975, will be a joint one with the Soviet Union.
The Flight Commander, Gerald Carr, gave the three main objectives for the new mission.