Encyclopedia Astronautica
Skylab 4



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Skylab
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 4
Credit: www.spacefacts.de - www.spacefacts.de
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Skylab 4
Launch of the Skylab 4/Saturn 1B space vehicle
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 4
Astronaut Edward Gibson stands at Apollo Telescope Mount in Skylab
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 4
Astronaut Gerald P. Carr flies the Astronaut Manoeuvring Equipment in the OWS
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 4
Skylab 4 crewmen passing trash bags in to the OWS waste disposal tank
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 4
View of Skylab 4 Command/Service module in docked configuration
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 4
Astronaut Gerald Carr during EVA on Skylab 4
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 4
View of a South Pacific storm photographed from Skylab space station
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 4
View of portion of Queensland, Australia from Skylab space station
Credit: NASA
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Skylab 4
View of Melbourne, Australia as seen from Skylab space station
Credit: NASA
Crew: Carr, Gibson Edward, Pogue. Record flight duration. Final Skylab mission; included observation and photography of Comet Kohoutek among numerous experiments. Rebellion by crew against NASA Ground Control overtasking led to none of the crew ever flying again. Backup crew: Brand, Lenoir, Lind.

Final Skylab mission; included observation and photography of Comet Kohoutek among numerous experiments. Completed 1,214 Earth orbits and four EVAs totalling 22 hours, 13 minutes. Increased manned space flight time record by 50%. Rebellion by crew against NASA Ground Control overtasking led to none of the crew ever flying again. Biological experiments included two Mummichog fish (Fundulus heteroclitus).

The space vehicle consisted of a modified Apollo CSM and a Saturn IB launch vehicle. All launch phase events were normal, and the CSM was inserted into a 150.1- by 227.08-km orbit. The rendezvous sequence was performed according to the anticipated timeline. Stationkeeping was initiated about seven and one-half hours after liftoff, and hard docking was achieved about 30 minutes later following two unsuccessful docking attempts. Planned duration of the mission was 56 days, with the option of extending it to a maximum of 84 days.

SKYLAB STATISTICAL SUMMARY

ORBITAL
PARAMETERS  268.1 x 269.5 Miles
 
ORBITAL
INCLINATION  50 Degrees
 
ORBITAL
PERIOD       APP. 93 MINUTES
 
DISTANCE/
ORBIT        26,575 MILES
 
DISTANCE
TRAVELED/Miles  SL-2          SL-3          SL-4          TOTALS
(MANNED) 11.5 Million   24.5 Million  34.5 Million  70.5 Million Miles
 
MISSION
DURATION    28 DAYS        59 DAYS        84 DAYS          171 DAYS
            49 MIN      11 HRS 9 MIN    01 HR 16 MIN    13 HRS 14 MIN
 
NUMBER
OF
REVOLUTIONS
(MANNED)      404           858             1214            2476
 
______________________________________________________________________

Skylab-4     MANHOUR UTILIZATION
 
MEDICAL ACTIVITIES            366.7   "        6.1   "
SOLAR OBSERVATIONS            519.0   "        8.5   "
EARTH RESOURCES               274.5   "        4.5   "
OTHER EXPERIMENTS             403.0   "        6.7   "
SLEEP, REST & OFF
             DUTY            1846.5   "       30.5   "
PRE/POST SLEEP &
           EATING            1384.0   "       23.0   "
HOUSEKEEPING                  298.9   "        4.9   "
PHYSICAL TRAINING
& PERSONAL HYGIENE            384.5   "        6.4   "
OTHER (EVA) ETC               571.4   "        9.4   "
 
                    TOTAL:   6048.5   "       100    "
 
 
Skylab TOTALS FOR SL-2, SL-3 AND SL-4
 
MEDICAL ACTIVITIES            824.5   "         6.9  "
SOLAR RESOURCES               941.3   "         7.9  "
EARTH RESOURCES               569.4   "         4.8  "
OTHER EXPERIMENTS             712.0   "         6.0  "
SLEEP, REST & OFF
             DUTY            3746.6   "        31.5  "
PRE/POST SLEEP &
           EATING            2836.8   "        23.8  "
HOUSEKEEPING                  560.9   "         4.7  "
PHYSICAL TRAINING
& PERSONAL HYGIENE            642.9   "         5.4  "
OTHER (EVA) ETC              1083.6   "         9.0  "
 
                    TOTAL:  11918.0   "       100    "
 
======================================================================
 
EXPERIMENT PERFORMANCE
                        SL-2         SL-3        SL-4        TOTALS
                      HOURS   %    HOURS   %    HOURS  %    HOURS   %
SOLAR ASTRONOMY       117.2  29.9  305.1  28.2  519.0 33.2  941.3 31.0
EARTH OBSERVATIONS     71.4  18.2  223.5  20.6  274.5 17.6  569.4 18.8
STUDENT                 3.7   0.9   10.8   1.0   14.8  0.9   29.3  0.9
ASTROPHYSICS           36.6   9.4  103.8   9.6  133.8  8.5  274.2  9.0
MAN/SYSTEMS            12.1   3.1  117.4  10.8   83.0  5.3  212.5  7.0
MATERIALS SCIENCE       5.9   1.5    8.4   0.8   15.4  1.0   29.7  1.0
LIFE SCIENCE          145.3  37.0  312.5  29.0  366.7 23.5  824.5 27.2
KOHOUTEK              -----  ----  -----  ----  156.0 10.0  156.0  5.1
 
     TOTALS           392.2  100  1081.5  100  1563.2 100  3036.9 100
 
======================================================================
 
EXTRAVEHICULAR ACTIVITIES
                        SL-2         SL-3        SL-4
STAND UP EVA          05-25-73
                      33 MIN
 
EVA 1                 06-07-73     08-06-73     11-22-73
                   4 HRS 10 MIN  6 HRS 31 MIN  6 HRS 33 MIN
 
EVA 2                 06-19-73     08-24-73     12-25-73
                   1 HR  37 MIN  4 HRS 30 MIN  6 HRS 51 MIN
 
EVA 3                              09-22-73     12-29-73
                                 2 HRS 42 MIN  3 HRS 30 MIN
 
EVA 4                                           02-03-74
                                               5 HRS 19 MIN
 
 
TOTALS:            6 HRS 20 MIN  13 HRS 43 MIN  22 HRS 13 MIN
                                             TOTAL TIME: 41 HRS 22 MIN
 
======================================================================
 
DATE RETURNED
                        SL-2         SL-3        SL-4       TOTALS
SOLAR OBSERVATIONS   28739 FRAMES  74942 FRMS   73366 FRMS 177047 FRMS
EARTH OBSERVATIONS
     FILM             9846 FRAMES  16800 FRMS   19400 FRMS  46146 FRMS
     MAGNETIC TAPE   45000 FT      93600 FT    100000 FT   238600 FT
 
======================================================================
 
SKYLAB SUMMARY (CONCLUDED)
 
EXPERIMENT SUMMARY          PLANNED       ACTUAL   PERCENT DEVIATION
 
Earth Observation Passes       62           99         + 60    %
Solar Viewing Time            566   hrs   724.7 hrs    + 27.5  %
Manned Solar Viewing Time     879.5 hrs   941.3 hrs    +  7.1  %
Biomedical Investigations     701         922          + 32    %
Engineering/Tech Inves.       264         245          -  3.4  %
Materials/Space Manuf. Inves.  10          32          +220    %
Astrophysics Investigations   168         345          +105    %
Student Exp. Investigations    44          52          + 18    %
 
Science Demonstrations         26          11          - 42    %
                                            (OPTIONAL SL-4 ONLY)
 
CONSUMABLE UTILIZATION
 
               LAUNCH         END OF MISSION      CONSUMABLES USED
 
Water          6000 LBS       1710 LBS            4290 LBS
Oxygen         6100 LBS       2764 LBS            3336 LBS
Nitrogen       1540 LBS        607 LBS             933 LBS
TACS          80000 LBS-SEC  12488 LBS           67512 LBS-SEC
 
Note: over 12% of the TACS were used during the first 10 days of the
mission
 
 

AKA: Skylab.
Location: National Air and Space Museum (Smithsonian Institution), Washington, DC.
First Launch: 1973.11.16.
Last Launch: 1974.02.08.
Duration: 84.05 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Pogue Pogue, William Reid 'Bill' (1930-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Skylab 4. More...
  • 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...
  • Carr Carr, Gerald Paul 'Gerry' (1932-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Skylab 4. More...
  • Lenoir Lenoir, Dr William Benjamin 'Bill' (1939-) American engineer mission specialist astronaut. Flew on STS-5. More...

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Apollo CSM American manned lunar orbiter. 22 launches, 1964.05.28 (Saturn 6) to 1975.07.15 (Apollo (ASTP)). The Apollo Command Service Module was the spacecraft developed by NASA in the 1960's as a standard spacecraft for earth and lunar orbit missions. More...

See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA Houston American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. Houston, Houston, USA. More...

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...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...

Skylab 4 Chronology


1973 August 7-15 - .
  • Viewing program for the comet Kohoutek during the SL-4 mission. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab 4. Representatives from NASA Hq, MSFC, GSFC, and JSC attended. Results of a feasibility study for viewing the comet were presented to the NASA Administrator on 15 August. It was agreed that observations of Kohoutek would he made at appropriate times during the SL-4 mission.

1973 August 14 - November 16 - .
  • Skylab 4 space vehicle moved to Launch Complex 39B in readiness for rescue mission. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab 4. Summary: The space vehicle consisted of a Saturn IB launch vehicle-S-IB-208 first stage, S-IVB-208 second stage, and S-IU-207 instrument unit; a CSM-118; and a spacecraft lunar module adapter.. Additional Details: here....

1973 August 16 - .
1973 September 6 - .
  • Eye protection not for Kohoutek operations. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab 4. At a Kohoutek status meeting, JSC w as requested to determine if additional ultraviolet eye protection would be required by the Skylab 4 astronaut while performing Kohoutek operations. A study indicated that no additional eye protective devices would be required for either intra- or extravehicular viewing of the comet. The use of the existing space suit sun visors would be required during extravehicular viewing.

1973 October 20 - .
  • The crew of Skylab 4 began a 21-day prelaunch isolation period. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab 4. Summary: Established prelaunch procedures required each Skylab flight crew to begin a health stabilization program 21 days before liftoff..

1973 October 30 - November 6 - .
  • Two vials, each containing 500 gypsy moth eggs, were hand carried to JSC from the Department of Agriculture. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab 4. After being loaded in flight containers, they were hand carried to KSC. The eggs would be launched on Skylab 4 and then transferred to the OWS sleep compartment area where they would be monitored during the course of the SL-4 mission. The eggs were being carried at the request of the Secretary of Agriculture.

1973 November 6 - .
  • Skylab 4 delayed to replace cracked fins on the S-IB. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab 4. A shift in the Skylab 4 launch schedule was required in order to replace eight cracked fins on the S-IB. The hairline cracks were discovered during a postcountdown demonstration test inspection. Initial indications were that the 14 cracks were caused by load stress or salt air, or possibly a combination of both.

1973 November 6 - .
  • A high-energy food bar was added to the menu of the Skylab 4 astronauts. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab 4. Summary: The 72 kg of additional food placed aboard the SL-4 command module included 39 kg of high-energy food bars and would supply sufficient food for an extension of the mission to 85 days, plus an additional 10 days' supply for a rescue capability. . Additional Details: here....

1973 November 14 - .
  • A launch readiness review was held at KSC. From the review and closeout of action items, the Skylab 4 vehicle was determined to be ready for launch on 16 November 1973. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab 4. Other reviews included the KSC flight readiness review, 18 October; the JSC Director's flight readiness review and the JSC command and service module flight readiness review, 11 October; the MSFC review of the Skylab Workshop systems capabilities, 17 September; and the KSC SL-4 launch readiness review, 15 October 1973.

1973 November 16 - . 14:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Saturn I. Launch Vehicle: Saturn IB. LV Configuration: Saturn IB SA-208.
  • Skylab 4 - . Call Sign: Skylab. Crew: Carr; Gibson, Edward; Pogue. Backup Crew: Brand; Lenoir; Lind. Payload: Apollo CSM 118. Mass: 20,847 kg (45,959 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Carr; Gibson, Edward; Pogue; Brand; Lenoir; Lind. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Skylab. Class: Moon. Type: Manned lunar spacecraft. Flight: Skylab 4. Spacecraft: Apollo CSM. Duration: 84.05 days. Decay Date: 1974-02-08 . USAF Sat Cat: 6936 . COSPAR: 1973-090A. Apogee: 437 km (271 mi). Perigee: 422 km (262 mi). Inclination: 50.0000 deg. Period: 93.10 min. Final Skylab mission; included observation and photography of Comet Kohoutek among numerous experiments. Completed 1,214 Earth orbits and four EVAs totalling 22 hours, 13 minutes. Increased manned space flight time record by 50%. Rebellion by crew against NASA Ground Control overtasking led to none of the crew ever flying again. Biological experiments included two Mummichog fish (Fundulus heteroclitus).

    The space vehicle consisted of a modified Apollo CSM and a Saturn IB launch vehicle. All launch phase events were normal, and the CSM was inserted into a 150.1- by 227.08-km orbit. The rendezvous sequence was performed according to the anticipated timeline. Stationkeeping was initiated about seven and one-half hours after liftoff, and hard docking was achieved about 30 minutes later following two unsuccessful docking attempts. Planned duration of the mission was 56 days, with the option of extending it to a maximum of 84 days.


1973 November 17 - February 7 - .
  • Skylab Orbital Workshop activation by the crew of Skylab 4. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab 4. Spacecraft: Skylab; Apollo ATM. The reactivation included the reservicing of the airlock module primary coolant loop. The commander and pilot experienced symptoms resembling motion sickness during the initial three days of the visit, and flight plan activities were adjusted accordingly. Crew health was good thereafter. Additional Details: here....

1973 November 23 - . 17:42 GMT - .
1973 December 25 - . 16:00 GMT - .
  • EVA Skylab 4-2 - . Crew: Carr; Pogue. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.29 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Carr; Pogue. Program: Skylab. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Skylab 4. Spacecraft: Skylab. Summary: Photographed Comet Kohoutek and replaced solar camera film cartridges..

1973 December 29 - . 17:00 GMT - .
1974 January 15 - .
  • Series of engineering tests on the Orbital Workshop authorized following completion of the Skylab 4 mission. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab 4. Summary: A series of engineering tests on the Orbital Workshop was authorized following completion of the Skylab 4 mission provided that only tests which would result in significant engineering knowledge would be performed. . Additional Details: here....

1974 February 3 - . 15:19 GMT - .
  • EVA Skylab 4-4 - . Crew: Carr; Gibson, Edward. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.22 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Carr; Gibson, Edward. Program: Skylab. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space station. Flight: Skylab 4. Spacecraft: Skylab. Summary: Retrieved solar camera film cartridges and external materials exposure package..

1974 February 8 - .
1974 February 9 - .
  • All primary mission objectives of Skylab 4 were reported accomplished. - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab 4. Spacecraft: Skylab. Additional Details: here....

1974 July - .
  • Comet Kohoutek and Skylab - . Nation: USA. Program: Skylab. Flight: Skylab 4. A JSC report summarized Comet Kohoutek's relationship to Skylab operations: Comet Kohoutek was discovered on 7 March 1973, three months before the launch of Skylab. Preliminary feasibility studies indicated that there was insufficient time to send a suitably instrumented spacecraft to observe and study the comet at close range. However, other manned and unmanned observations were planned, with the most significant to occur during the third visit to the orbiting Skylab. Unique scientific data were obtained by the third-visit crew, helping to make Kohoutek the most comprehensively studied comet in history. Additional Details: here....

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