THIS SPECIAL REPORT DEALS WITH THE UPCOMING SKYLAB MISSION. SKY-LAB IS THE UNITED STATE'S FIRST?
THIS SPECIAL REPORT DEALS WITH THE UPCOMING SKYLAB MISSION. SKY-LAB IS THE UNITED STATE'S FIRST SPACE STATION. IT WILL BE LAUNCHED INTO EARTH ORBIT ON MAY 14, WITH THE ASTRONAUTS FOLLOWING THE NEXT DAY, MAY 15. DURING AN EIGHT-MONTH PERIOD, THREE CREWS OF ASTRONAUTS WILL LIVE AND WORK THERE FOR PERIODS RANGING FROM 28 TO 56 DAYS. THE CREW OF THIS FIRST FLIGHT INCLUDES ASTRONAUTS CHARLES "PETE" CONRAD, DR. JOSEPH KERWIN, AND PAUL WEITZ.
SYNOPSIS: SOME OF THESE PARTS AND PIECES COMING TOGETHER AT THE KENNEDY SPACE CENTRE FLORIDA HAVE FAMILIAR SOUNDING NAMES...LIKE THE COMMAND MODULE, AND APOLLO TELESCOPE MOUNT. OTHERS ARE NOT AS FAMILIAR. MULTIPLE DOCKING ADAPTER...AIRLOCK MODULE...ORBITAL WORKSHOP. FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY THE PIECES CAME. THEY ARE ALL PART OF THE UNITED STATE'S NEXT MANNED SPACE MISSION...SKYLAB.
SKYLAB...THIS COUNTRY'S FIRST SPACE STATION, WILL BE OPERATING IN EARTH ORBIT FOR ABOUT EIGHT MONTHS. IT WILL SERVE AS WORKING AND LIVING QUARTERS FOR THREE SETS OF ASTRONAUT CREWS FOR FLIGHTS FROM TWENTY-EIGHT TO FIFTY-SIX DAYS.
THESE ARE THE THREE MEN WHO WILL OPEN THE SPACE STATION AND STAY THERE TWENTY-EIGHT DAYS. ASTRONAUTS PAUL WEITZ...DR. JOSEPH KERWIN...AND CHARLES "PETE" CONRAD.
ASTRONAUT CONRAD WILL BE IN COMMAND. BORN IN PHILADELPHIA, HE IS FORTY-TWO YEARS OLD AND A VETERAN OF THREE PREVIOUS GEMINI AND APOLLO SPACE FLIGHTS.
CONRAD DESCRIBED THE SEQUENCE OF EVENTS INCLUDING A DUAL LAUNCH.
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...We are going to use both launch pads at Cape Kennedy, Pad 39A and Pad 39B. And on 39A we have the orbital workshop on a Saturn V and it will be launched into orbit, unmanned; when it gets into orbit the ground will be able to deploy the solar panels and the shroud around the front of it and get rid of that, and deploy the solar telescope off to the side, and perform a bunch of functions by ground command which will prepare it for our joining it the next day. Now, we will launch approximately 23-1/2 hours later after it does, and after five revolutions of the earth we will have stepped up and rendezvoused with it. And at that time we are going to dock--and we perform just a few checks on the exterior part of the vehicle, and that our docking is a good docking and we will pretty well have spent ???
start activation of the workshop. Now our task in activating the workshop will be longer and considerably different than the crews that will follow us up there, because much of the equipment will be in what we call the 'launch configuration.' It has to be bolted to the floors or firmly to the walls to take the vibrations of launch into space. So we will go in, and the first day we will spend reconfiguring all this equipment to its proper location for use when it's in orbit.
THE ORBITAL WORKSHOP IS ABOUT THE SIZE OF A SMALL HOUSE. PETE CONRAD CONTINUES.
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Well, in this vehicle we have, of course, quite a few items we've never had before. We have a freezer system so that we have frozen food, which we've never had before. We have three separate bedrooms, with doors; you can go to bed and close your door at night. We have a full bathroom on board. And we intend to shave every day and so forth. And we have a shower on board. We won't be able to use that every day. The way the water works out everyone gets one shower a week, so we'll be back to the "Saturday night shower." And, of course, all of these items I've just mentioned are things that we've never had in space flight before; so I think we are going to be a lot more comfortable. And I look forward to giving most of them a try.
TO PREPARE THEMSELVES FOR THE SPACEWALK THEY'LL BE TAKING
ASTRONAUTS CONRAD AND KERWIN PRACTISED UNDERWATER AT NASA'S MARSHALL SPACEFLIGHT CENTRE IN ALABAMA.
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As we get to the end of the 28 days, about three days before the end of the flight, we are going to have to put on our pressure suits, two of us, and go outside to the solar telescope and collect all the film out of the different instruments that have taken the pictures, and bring that back in and also load some film in the cameras for some of the other crews that are coming up. And then, at that point in time, after having done our EVA and collected the film out of the solar telescope, we will spend the next two days preparing the vehicle for deactivation and our departure.
FORTY-ONE YEAR OLD DR. JOSEPH P. KERWIN, DESIGNATED SKYLAB SCIENCE-PILOT, HAS A DOCTOR OF MEDICINE DEGREE FROM NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY. BORN IN OAK PARK, ILLINOIS, KERWIN IS THE FIRST M.D. TO GO INTO SPACE.
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Obviously the most important immediate thing we need to know is can man live and work effectively and normally in space for long periods of time. We are like the guys who were examining pilots and aircraft back in 1920 and trying to arrive at medical standards for aviators and to protect them from the stresses of high altitude, cold exposure, so on and so forth. We are a supporting role. We need to know what happens to man in weight-lessness, whether it is dangerous, if it is dangerous what countermeasures can we apply so that we will get through those days and perhaps in the future fly very long missions.
THIS KNOWLEDGE CAN ALSO CONTRIBUTE TO AN UNDERSTANDING OF LIFE PROCESSES WHICH ARE BASIC TO TREATING HUMAN ILLNESS. BESIDES EXTENSIVE PRE-FLIGHT AND POST-FLIGHT MEDICAL STUDIES ON EACH OF THE MEN, THE TRIO WILL BE PUT THROUGH WHAT DR. KERWIN CALLS, DYNAMIC MEASUREMENTS.
Kerwin sync 1:57
...the object of the inflight measurement is to stress the man, to make him work, to make his body speed up, and them observe how efficiently it does the job. And we have two major experiments like that. One is a bicycle. You hop on the bicycle. You set the work load. It is one of those exercise type things, very carefully calibrated. You set it to a work load which you think will stress the individual because it did back on the ground, and then while he is running you measure everything you conveniently can about him. You measure his heart rate, his blood pressure, you get an electrocardiogram on him, and most important you measure in great detail the composition of the gases that he breathes out so that you find out how much oxygen he is using, how much carbon dioxide he is breathing out, and you get from that a rough and ready but very valuable measure of how well this gentleman is able to coordinate his heart, his blood vessels, his muscles, and everything else, to do a difficult physical job.
The second major in-flight experiment is the lower body negative pressure device which puts a different kind of stress on the body. Now, what you do is you enter feet first into a garbage can kind of thing up to your waist and you wrap a seal around your waist to make it airtight and then with a vacuum hose you suck the air out of the garbage can. This causes negative pressure on the lower part of the body. The veins expand and blood is trapped or pooled in the lower half of the body where it is not efficiently used by the circulation. This is our clever way of simulating gravity while we are in weightlessness because if you stand upright for a long period of time like soldiers on a parade ground your blood does tend to pool this way in the lower part of your body and frequently people faint. And this is way people faint in crowds. Now, how a man responds to a carefully measured stress of this kind is a good indication of how well his blood vessels and his heart can adjust.
THE PEOPLE ON THE GROUND WILL BE KEEPING A WATCHFUL EYE ON THE CREW, SOMETIMES EVEN AS THEY SLEEP.
THIS SLEEP-MONITORING CAP FOR INSTANCE, ALLOWS BRAIN-WAVE MEASUREMENTS TO BE MADE WITHOUT WIRES BEING FASTENED TO THE HEAD.
THE ACTUAL SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS ARE RATHER UNIQUE AS ASTRONAUT KERWIN DESCRIBES.
Kerwin sync 1:10
Sleeping arrangements look different and we always show them to visitors in the trainer as an example of the fact that you have got to think weightless. You have got to think of the fact that once you are in space, the rooms all get bigger because the walls and the ceiling now become just as useful to you as the floor. They say "Will it be distracting" and I say "I don't know because I haven't been there, but the guys who have say "Yes, it is very distracting for a few days and then you get used to it and you don't really think about it anymore." What cur sleeping arrangements are is we have three little cubicles side by side and in each of these cubicles which is the standard 6.5 feet tall but very narrow you have a sleeping bag essentially, and an aluminum frame, and the only way to put it was straight up against the wall. I think once you are in the sleeping bag--and, by the way, you have to get in the sleeping bag through a hole in the neck of this blanket. It is an interesting arrangement. You sort of, you know, Coke bottle yourself in there and you are all snug. Then you have your little reading light on your right and you have your little speaker box and you can talk to the ground if they call you. You don't have room service. If you want to get a sandwich in the middle of the night you have got to do that yourself.
LOOKING AT THE EARTH'S RESOURCES FROM SPACE WILL BE A MAJOR PART OF EVERY SKYLAB MISSION...A CHANCE TO SURVEY EVERYTHING FROM CROPS TO SCHOOLS OF FIST IN THE OCEANS... TIMBERLANDS TO MINERAL DEPOSITS.
FORTY-YEAR-OLD PAUL WEITZ, A NATIVE OF ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA, WILL HAVE THE MAIN RESPONSIBILITY FOR CONDUCTING THE EARTH RESOURCES EXPERIMENTS ONBOARD THIS FIRST SKYLAB.
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The Earth Resources Experiments Package is a group of five sensors which we are going to use to look at the earth to gather data, with these five sensors, fifteen times during our flight. The data is collected on board on magnetic tape and brought back, and later reduced and analyzed here on earth. Through it we hope for a myriad of things we are going to find out: First off, we are going to find out how does the package perform as a package; in other words, did we pick the right ??? of experiments with which to do the job, Now, for example some of the things are the states of health of foliage of different types, whether they be crops, trees, grasslands, pasture, what-have-you. Hopefully, can we determine the depth of snow is melting and the rate of melt runoff, such that downstream stations can be advised of when to open the gates on dams to predict how much water is coming down to help minimize flooding. Can we trace thermal currents in the ocean, or in the Gulf of Mexico can be spot schools of fish? Can we determine where underground sources of water are located, and many, many other really practical applications.
SOME 8 SOLAR TELESCOPES ON SKYLAB WILL BE AIMED TOWARD THE SUN, A VANTAGE POINT THAN NO ONE HAS EVER HAD BEFORE. WITH SOLAR POWER ALREADY BEING DISCUSSED AS A POSSIBLE MEANS OF EASING OUR ENERGY CRISIS, THE SOLAR PHYSICS STUDIES TAKE ON ADDED MEANING AND IMPORTANCE.
Weitz sync :26
We are going to be able to look at the sun and at wave lengths that were impossible to see before because the atmosphere filtered these out. And from this, we will have better understanding of the phenomena that are presently going on the sun's surface, how it affects our lives on earth now; how it's affected our evolution and our history; and perhaps how we can better cope with changes that are coming up in the future.
THE ASTRONAUTS WILL ASSES THE VALUE OF DEVICES THAT EXPEDITE MOVING FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER INSIDE THE ORBITAL WORKSHOP. HERE, ASTRONAUT PAUL WEITZ PRACTICES USING ONE SUCH DEVICE.
IT IS BELIEVED THAT UNIQUE CRYSTAL STRUCTURES CAN BE MANUFACTURED IN THE VACUUM OF SPACE. AGAIN,
ASTRONAUT PAUL WEITZ.
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The primary experiment which we are doing is called 'the metals processing facility' in which we are going to--it's a sphere which can be sealed off from the interior of the spacecraft, then evacuated: that is, pull a vacuum on it by exposing it to outer space--out-side the spacecraft; and in it we are going to melt some metal samples to see if we can form some ball bearings practically in a weightless environment, and in essence this is a determination of: what are some of the phenomena that occur in a manufacturing process in a weightless environment: and can by used to man's benefit.
TO STIMULATE INTEREST IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, NINETEEN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS HAVE HAD EXPERIMENTS THEY PROPOSED SELECTED FOR FLIGHT ON SKYLAB. THE YOUNGSTERS WERE SELECTED FROM MORE THAN 3,400
NATIONWIDE. SOME OF THEIR EXPERIMENTS INCLUDE BEHAVIOUR OF BACTERIA AND BACTERIAL SPORE IN THE SKYLAB AND SPACE ENVIRONMENTS... WEB FORMATION IN ZERO GRAVITY... AND OTHERS.
BY WAY OF SUMMARY, SCIENCE PILOT DR. JOE WP HAD THIS TO SAY ABOUT SKYLAD.
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"...I like to think of it like this: we have explored earth orbital space and we have explored lunar orbital space and the surface of the moon and this is very exciting. These people were kind of the Lewis and Clarkes of the space program. What we are trying to do now is settle, we are trying to homestead space, we are trying to demonstrate on Skylab that man has a useful function as an observer and a scientist, technician, a doer of things, a bringer back of information in space, and that we can and should do this in a cost-effective, regular and long-term way.
SKYLAB...THIS COUNTRY'S FIRST SPACE STATION IS NEARLY READY. FROM STUDIES OF THE SUN TO EARTH OBSERVATIONS, ITS EXPERIMENTS WILL