Skylab old and new


I mentioned in an earlier post that a mockup of Skylab had been refurbished in time for a 40th anniversary celebration at the US Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville.
refurb skylab1
It’s appropriately next to the third stage of the Saturn V in the Davidson Center, since Skylab was a modified third stage.

The mockup had been used for astronaut training and was part of the bus tour starting in 1974. It was in the museum when I first visited in 1985. I don’t remember when it was moved outside, but it was left in the elements for years. The local AIAA chapter spent many volunteer hours trying to save it. I’m glad to see it back inside, though I hope they add some details to the current display.

One difference between then and now is the lack of labeling.
Then:
old skylab2
old skylab3
Now:
refurb skylab5
That’s the shower stall lying on the floor. My feeling is that it’s probably too cracked or damaged to be displayed like it was before. To the left is the bicycle ergometer.

This is the rotating litter chair that was part of astronaut vestibular system experiments. As if space sickness wasn’t bad enough.
refurb skylab2

The wardroom:
refurb skylab4

Sleeping quarters then:
old skylab1

and now:
refurb skylab3

I remember looking up through the isogrid before. There used to be one of the astronaut’s shoes on display, Keds-looking things, with triangular parts on the soles for locking into the isogrid.
refurb skylab6

Perhaps you’ve seen the video of the astronaut “running” in circles on Skylab on that ring of white cushions. (good video even if it is posted by a loon that thinks this disproves the moon landing.)

The old poster describing Skylab student experiments:
old skylab4

The new poster describing the Skylab mission and the parts of the space station (click to embiggen – I could read it on my computer)
skylab sign

I’m happy to see this back in the museum, and I hope they can add some labels and a little more interpretation of what we did back then and why.

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