U.S. Space and Rocket celebrates 50th anniversary of Skylab

The U.S. Space and Rocket Center is hosting a series of free events this summer for the public to learn more about why Skylab was monumental in learning to live
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 4:16 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - 50 years ago America’s first space station, Skylab, lifted off into space. To celebrate the anniversary, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center is hosting a series of free events this summer for the public to learn more about why Skylab was monumental in learning to live off of earth.

Skylab launched with the last Saturn V rocket in May of 1973. The crew of astronauts lived aboard the station and experienced the first opportunity to live off of Earth.

Not only were they able to live in the station, they were able to continue research and conduct science while aboard.

Vice President of Education at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center Dr. Kay Taylor says she hopes community members will take advantage of the free events to learn more about this piece of history and how the Marshall Space Flight Center played a key role.

“It’s a great way to understand Marshall Space Flight Center’s role in Space History and Space Events today,” Dr. Taylor said. “This was a fundamental program for learning how to live in space. Marshall Space Flight Center was a key in developing this program.”

The series of events are as follows:

  • “From Cocktail Napkin to Space Station: Skylab’s Origin Story,” Sunday, May 28th, 2 p.m. in Discovery Theater - The program explores the challenges and opportunities of launching an orbiting laboratory where Americans would live and work in space.
  • “The Science of Skylab,” Sunday, June 18, at 2 p.m. in Discover 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,” Sunday, July 2, 2 p.m. in Discover 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, Thursday, Aug. 17, at 6 p.m. - 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.

“Not only can you meet some of the people who worked on the program, you can come to understand how their actions and their activities laid the groundwork for us living off the earth successfuly as we look at the international space station, we look at going back to the moon, we look at going to Mars, it starts with Skylab.” Dr. Taylor said.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, click here.

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