Closing in on Skylab…

Another good drive from Oppy, and she is now very close to that bright-rimmed crater we’ve seen growing larger ahead of us for the past few days… and that crater now has a name: Skylab…

Here’s the wider angle view…

…and, of course, the view in 3D…

Many…most? … of you will know what “Skylab” was, but there’ll be some young whippersnappers thinking “Er, what?”. Well, “Skylab” was the United States’ very first space station, and it has a special place in the hearts of many space enthusiasts because of it’s, shall we say “eventful” launch and deployment, which saw a solar wing being ripped off and an emergency spacewalk being carried out to save it. There really should be a Hollywood movie made about it, or at least a TV dramatisation, it’s quite a story. Anyway, Skylab was launched on a Saturn V in 1973, weighed 77 tons, and looked like this…

Some space enthusiasts I know think that Skylab was an ugly, lopsided, gantry- and girder-covered monstrosity, but I’ve always felt she looks exactly like an “early” space station should look. Between 1973 and 1979 Skylab hosted several crews of astronauts, and inside her “cavernous interior” they conducted some really useful science. Skylab came back down to Earth in 1979 – by “came back down to Earth” I mean “plummeted to Earth in a shower of flaming pieces”, which were scattered over Australia. Many large chunks reached the ground, like these…

So, not a little ironic then that Skylab has been commemorated by naming a crater in a desert after her… 🙂

I prefer to remember Skylab this way…

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One Response to Closing in on Skylab…

  1. Buck says:

    Love that last shot… closing in on Skylab!

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