To Save A Space Station: The Unrealized Rescue of Skylab, 40 Years On

The engines of the Teleoperator Retrieval System (TRS), seen docked to Skylab, perform a lengthy “burn” to either deliver the old space station into a higher, more stable orbit or to prepare it for a controlled, destructive re-entry. Image Credit: NASA

Visiting space stations is, and always has been, a complex and challenging endeavor; […]

'Stronger Than Required': Remembering Skylab's End, 40 Years On

One of the final views of Skylab in orbit, as seen directly by human eyes, during the departure of the third crew in February 1974. The station, which began its slow descent back to Earth 40 years ago, this summer, was the largest single object ever launched into space. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty years […]

'A Dumb Decision': Remembering the Final Mission to Skylab, 45 Years Ago

Boosted aloft atop a Saturn IB rocket, and utilizing a special “milk stool” to raise its umbilical connections to the proper levels on the Pad 39B gantry, the third and final Skylab crew takes flight on 16 November 1973. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty-five years ago, in May 1973, America launched its first space […]

'Tally-Ho the Skylab': The Mission to Save America's Space Station, 45 Years On

The multiple docking adaptor and Apollo Telescope Mount (top left) of Skylab, viewed from the crew of the first visiting mission. Photo Credit: NASA

Four decades have now passed since one of the most dramatic reversals in fortune in American space history: the salvation of Skylab. On 14 May 1973, America’s first space […]

Attitude Control Game: Remembering Skylab's Fateful Launch, 45 Years Ago

The Saturn V which launched Skylab was visually quite distinct from its predecessors. Although it possessed the S-IC and S-II first and second stages, the place of the third stage (S-IVB) was taken by the inert space station. Photo Credit: NASA

Forty-five years ago, this month, America almost lost its first space station. […]

'Not Of Earthly Pace': Celebrating the New Year in Space

Bill Shepherd (center) and his Expedition 1 crewmates Yuri Gidzenko (left) and Sergei Krikalev juggle oranges during their time aboard the International Space Station. They celebrated both Christmas and the dawn of 2001 in orbit. Photo Credit: NASA

With a naval officer in command of the International Space Station (ISS), it might have […]

Top Ten US EVA Missions of All Time: No. 6—'We Can Fix Anything'

The salvation of Skylab, perhaps more so than any previous endeavor, validated the importance of Extravehicular Activity (EVA). Photo Credit: NASA

Construction and maintenance of an Earth-circling laboratory is nothing new in the 21st century, for dozens of humans from a multitude of nations have toiled in low-Earth orbit to assemble the International […]

Stretching the Shuttle: 25 Years Since the EDO Decision

Columbia is approached by servicing vehicles on the runway on 7 December 1996, after concluding STS-80, the shuttle program’s longest Extended Duration Orbiter (EDO) mission. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-five years ago, this week, NASA and Rockwell International reached a historic agreement which would, both figuratively and literally, “extend” the shuttle and its myriad […]

Operational EVAs: The First 50 Years of Spacewalking (Part 3)

The final Skylab mission marked the first occasion on which a spacewalk was conducted on Christmas Day. Photo Credit: NASA

Three weeks have now passed since a trio of Extravehicular Activities (EVAs) took place outside the International Space Station (ISS) to prepare the orbital outpost for a significant period of expansion and hardware […]

Alexei Gubarev, Commander of First International Mission to Space Station, Dies Aged 83

 

The first “international” crew aboard the Salyut 6 space station in March 1978 consisted of (from left) Vladimir Remek, Alexei Gubarev, Georgi Grechko, and Yuri Romanenko. Gubarev and Grechko had previously flown together to Salyut 4 in early 1975. Photo Credit: Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Former cosmonaut Alexei Gubarev—who commanded a month-long mission to […]