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‘Summer of Skylab’ celebrates 50th anniversary

HUNTSVILLE – The U.S. Space & Rocket Center celebrates the 50th anniversary of Skylab, America’s first space station, with a series of free events scheduled throughout the summer, the center announced.

The Marshall Space Flight Center managed the Skylab program after it lifted off on May 14, 1963, aboard the last Saturn V rocket. Three crews of astronauts lived aboard the station on missions that lasted from 28 to 85 days from May to November 1973.

The series begins Sunday at 2 p.m. with “Cocktail Napkin to Space Station: Skylab’s Origin Story.” The program explores the challenges and opportunities of launching an orbiting laboratory where Americans would live and work in space.

The event takes place in the Rocket Center’s Discovery Theater.

Other events include:

  • “The Science of Skylab,” June 18 at 2 p.m. in Discovery Theater.
    This discussion focuses on the range of experiments done during Skylab’s three missions and how NASA first engaged students across the country to contribute their ideas for scientific research.
  • “Lessons on Living in Space: Skylab,” July 2 at 2 p.m. in Discovery Theater.
    Skylab’s missions were a key step in learning the effects of microgravity on humans and equipment during long-duration stays in space. Lessons from Skylab helped drive the design and function of today’s International Space Station.
  • “Saving Skylab” documentary and panel discussion, Aug. 17 at 6 p.m. in the National Geographic Theater in the Davidson Center for Space Exploration.
    This documentary and discussion will show the heroic efforts to repair the solar arrays on the Skylab orbiter after they were badly damaged in liftoff. Without those repairs, Skylab would have been virtually powerless and useless.

Click here for more information about Summer of Skylab programs.

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