Encyclopedia Astronautica
Skylab Rescue



aporesc2.jpg
Apollo Rescue CSM
The Apollo Command Module as modified to rescue stranded crews for the Skylab program. Two crew + three rescuees packed like sardines....
Crew: Brand, Lind. 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. Prepared for launch during Skylab 3. Scrubbed, Skylab 3 made landing with faulty thrusters instead.

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.

First Launch: 1973 September.

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...
  • Brand Brand, Vance DeVoe (1931-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Apollo (ASTP), STS-5, STS-41-B, STS-35. More...

See also
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...

Skylab Rescue Chronology


1972 September 28 - .
  • CSM 119 would be utilized in a dual role: as a spacecraft rescue vehicle for the Skylab Program and later for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Apollo (ASTP); Skylab Rescue. Spacecraft: Apollo Rescue CSM. Summary: However, CSM 111 would continue to be the primary Apollo- Soyuz Test Project spacecraft..

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.

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