Encyclopedia Astronautica
1973.02.27 - Skylab 2 spacecraft transferred to Launch Complex 39B in preparation for launch.


The Skylab 2 spacecraft, mated to its launch vehicle, was transferred 27 February from the KSC Vehicle Assembly- Building to Launch Complex 39B in preparation for launch. The SL-2 space vehicle consisted of the following major components: an S-IB (the first stage); an S-IVB (the second stage, which comprised the propulsion stages); an IU; a CSM; and an SLA.

The next five paragraphs trace the SL-2 from the arrival of the component parts at KSC through liftoff.


- The S-IVB stage had arrived at KSC' on 24 June 1971 and was placed in storage until 17 April 1972.
- The CSM arrived on 19 July 1972 and was immediately moved into the Operations and Checkout Building for systems testing.
- The S IB and the IU both arrived on 22 August 1972.
- On 5 September 1972 the S-IVB was mated to the S-IB.
- Three days later, 8 September 1972, the IU was mated to the S-IVB.
- Since SL-2 was the first Saturn IB space vehicle to be launched from LC-39, it was necessary to verify the modified facilities and systems. Therefore, the SL-2, with a boilerplate spacecraft, was moved to LC-39B on 9 January 1973.
- The mobile service structure was positioned on 12 January 1973, and the fit, function, and facility systems tests required in support of the SL-2 launch were performed.
- The Propellant Loading All Systems Test was performed on 29 and 30 January, 1973. The SL- 2 was then returned to the Vehicle Assembly Building.
- On 9 February 1973 the SLA was mated to the CSM.
- The CSM/SLA was then moved to the Vehicle Assembly Building on 20 February 1973 and mated to the launch vehicle the following day.
- Transfer of the SL-2 to LC-39B was completed 27 February The space vehicle Flight Readiness Test was completed on 5 April 1973.
- The Countdown Demonstration Test began on 25 April 1973.
- At 0:00 a.m.EDT 9 May 1973, the launch countdown for SL-2 was started.
- Because of the meteoroid shield anomaly and failure of the solar wings to deploy on the Workshop, the SL-2 launch was scrubbed on 14 May 1973 at T minus 14 hours 35 minutes (9:10 p.m. EDT 14 May), and scrub turnaround procedures started.
- The countdown clock was then held at T minus 59 hours until countdown resumed at 10:30 p.m. EDT 22 May 1973.
- SL-2 was successfully launched at 9:00 a.m.EDT on 25 May 1973.

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