1969 to 1974
Skylab was officially named in 1969 as the first US space station and it was developed out of an existing set of Apollo hardware. Skylab orbited the Earth from 1973 to 1979, and supported three extended periods in orbit for astronaut teams between mid-1973 and early 1974. Skylab re-entered Earth's atmosphere and disintegrated in 1979. It set a precedent for the International Space Station, assembly of which began almost 25 years after the last Skylab crew departed.
This book focuses on the engineering and design of Skylab, which was designed to carry out three categories of scientific study: Earth observation; observations of the Sun; and the effects of the weightless environment on humans. It also describes the adapted Apollo spacecraft used to ferry astronauts to the station, and the new launch method for the Saturn IB rockets used to send astronauts to Skylab.
Author: Dr. David Baker worked with NASA on the Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle programmes between 1965 and 1990. He has written more than 80 books on spaceflight technology and is the author of the Haynes NASA Space Shuttle Manual, International Space Station Manual,NASA Mars Rovers Manual, Apollo 13 Manual, Soyuz Manual, Rocket Manual and forthcoming Hubble Space Telescope Manual. He lives in East Sussex.