The United States is now less than two years from launching its first orbiting space station -- Skylab.
The United States is now less than two years from launching its first orbiting space station -- Skylab. The station will succeed the apollo moon missions in the mid-1970s as the major manned spacecraft programme for the U.S.
Skylab will not be the first orbiting space station, as the Soviet Union won that honour with their three-man Salyut spacecraft launched in April of this year. Three Soviet cosmonauts died on their return to Earth after spending twenty-three days in space.
The first Skylab mission will involve three astronauts spending 28-days in orbit. More than 50 Skylab experiments are planned. Other crews will then man the skylab for periods of up to 56-days.
Recently, in Denver, Colorado, the first major piece of equipment for Skylab was completed. The multi-docking adaptor will be the means through which the astronauts will enter the Skylab.
SYNOPSIS: When U.S. astronauts hook up with the Skylab in space, they'll dock and enter through this piece of equipment -- the docking adaptor.
A training version is in use by astronauts training for twenty-eight and fifth-six day missions. For example, a pressure chamber will be used to investigate manufacturing techniques in space. While orbiting at an altitude of two-hundred and seventy miles, six cameras will photograph the earth below to study its resources.
Pete Conrad, Alan Bean and Russell Schweikert are among astronauts in training for Skylab.
This is astronaut Bruce McAndliss, in Denver. Colorado, in a spacesuit, checking out manoeuvring equipment.
Astronaut Dick Truly, checking out the kind of suit that will be worn inside the space station.
Skylab will weigh more than one-hundred tons. The first major piece of its equipment -- the docking adaptor -- has passed its tests and is ready for use.