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Littles to lead final ‘Summer of Skylab’ discussion

HUNTSVILLEThe U.S. Space & Rocket Center finishes its “Summer of Skylab” series of talks Thursday at 6 p.m. The free event takes place in the Davidson Center’s National Geographic Theater.

Dr. Wayne Littles, former NASA Associate Administrator, will lead a panel discussion about the heroic efforts to repair the solar arrays on Skylab, America’s first space station. The damage to the solar arrays occurred during liftoff, rendering Skylab virtually powerless and useless.

Other panelists are Jim Splawn, who led the underwater training for the astronauts who ultimately repaired Skylab while it was in orbit; and Chuck Lewis, a man-systems engineer who worked with an electrical lineman’s tool company to find the tools the astronauts used on spacewalks to repair the orbiter.

A showing of the documentary, “Saving Skylab,” will follow the panel discussion.

The Marshall Space Flight Center managed the Skylab program. Skylab lifted off on May 14, 1973, on the last Saturn V rocket, and three crews of astronauts lived aboard the station on missions that lasted from 28 to 85 days from May to November 1973.

The Rocket Center concludes its celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Skylab program, Sept. 29, with a dinner featuring Skylab astronauts, including Dr. Joseph Kerwin. David Hitt, author of “Homesteading Space: The Skylab Story,” will emcee the evening that includes dinner and dancing to music from the 1970s.

For tickets and more information, visit rocketcenter.com.

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