Aircraft-borne Lasers to

Profile Earth and Sea during Final Skylab Flight—

As Skylab’s third crew collects data on the Earth’s resources from 270 miles out in space, two aircraft from the Johnson Space Center (jsc) will skim near the surface using laser instruments to provide an exact profile ofthe land and water at more than a dozen sites. During the coming months, nasa aircraft will use laserprofilometers over portions of the North Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexi­co, the Puerto Rican Trench, and the Great Salt Lake to support Skylab remote­sensing passes over the same areas.

Skylab Gypsy Moth Research Project—

One thousand gypsy moth eggs in two special vials will be launched aboard the third and final Skylab mission on November 10. The first moths in space are part ofa research project sponsored by the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricul­tural Research (aphis) in cooperation with nasa. Agriculture scientists are try­ing to find out ifthe state ofweightlessness might be the key to altering the gypsy moth’s life cycle. If weightlessness does prove to be the factor, the key point may be found in rearing insects by the missions and thus controlling a whole class of insect pests with similar life cycles.

Third Skylab Crew to Expand Knowledge
of Earth’s Resources—

Astronauts Gerald Carr, Edward Gibson and William Pogue will be well equipped to survey the Earth during a final Skylab mission that could last nearly three months. Their training included 40 hours of special lectures on Earth observa­tions and they’re taking along a detailed handbook for viewing Earth from space and the largest store of film and computer tapes ever supplied for a Skylab mis­sion. Meanwhile, the 20,000 Earth photographs and 24 miles of computer tape obtained during the two previous Skylab flights will be undergoing extensive analysis by iff Principal Investigators and their staffs in the United States and 18 foreign countries. Before the first ereppass of the final Skylab mission can be undertaken, Science Pilot Ed Gibson, assisted by his fellow crewmembers, will attempt to repair the antenna drive system for the microwave radiometer-scat- terometer-altimeter (sipj). Gibson will work on the Sip3 instrument during the crew’s first walk outside the space station, scheduled for the week following launch. Pilot Bill Pogue will join him outside.

Student Experiments

“The Skylab Student Program came into being because some of us involved in the space program were concerned over the decline in interest of our youth in science and engineering fields in ‘post-Apollo’ days, the first moon land­ings in 1969 having recently been made,” said Jack Waite, who served as the student experiment project coordinator while at Marshall Space Flight Cen­ter. “A number of NASA headquarters and field center personnel (msfc and msc, now jsc) discussed ways to stimulate the American youth interest in these fields. It became apparent that they could, even should, be an integral part of the Skylab Experiment Program. At headquarters Joe Lundholm was a key player, along with the program directors Bill Schneider and John Disher, Reg Machell at msc, and myself from msfc.”

Waite’s position as head of the Experiment Development and Integration Office at Marshall and also as a representative on the Manned Space Flight Experiment Board allowed him to facilitate this work over the next several years and to follow up the student careers for decades to follow.

The program developed was a nationwide contest for seventh – through twelfth-grade students and patterned very much like formal university space­flight projects are selected. A “Request for Proposals” was sent to all fifty states and nine overseas high schools. These proposals were to be related to research experiments in seven basic areas of study: astronomy, botany, Earth observations, microbiology, physics, physiology, and zoology. The Marshall Skylab Experiments Office, which Waite headed, was designated to manage the student program. A total of 3,409 proposals were submitted and evaluated by the National Science Teachers Association, with partici­pation from National Council for the Social Studies, NASA, and even Sky­lab flight crewmembers. From that total, twenty-five were selected as win­ners and twenty-two ended up being incorporated into the Skylab flight program, some carried out on each of the three missions. Most involved some modest hardware elements that were designed by the student principal investigators working with engineers at Marshall and structured as would be any professional program. Crew safety was always considered as well as

Student Experiments

4.6. Students chosen to participate in the Skylab science program gather on the steps of Marshall Space Flight Center’s headquarters building.

compatibility with all other experiments and systems. Design reviews and mission operations were reviewed, as were all other experiments by the Mar­shall Experiments Office.

The student program was and is considered a tremendous success. A yard­stick for success should be the degree to which student interest and enthusi­asm has carried over into career activities. While it is not possible to objec­tively measure the degree to which high-school students nationwide may have been moved to a better science and engineering awareness and career involvement, it is possible to follow most of these particular students, which Waite has done with great perseverance for decades. Among the twenty-two projects which ended up with approved and flown activities, the student Pis achieved careers as follows: six became science teachers (elementary, sec­ondary, and university levels), seven were engineers and/or scientists, three became medical doctors, four had business careers, one was a military offi­cer, and one became a monk. Many university advanced degrees are pres­ent in their biographies as well.

“Likely the most publicized experiment performed was the one proposed by Ms. Judith Miles from Lexington, Massachusetts, to observe how ‘Cross’ spiders spin their webs in space,” Waite said. “At our Skylab thirtieth anni­versary celebration in 2003, we were pleased to have Judy and some of her

family in attendance. The widespread publicity associated with the two spi­ders’ adaptation to weightlessness apparently so fascinated the general pub­lic that many adults still remember the experiments conducted over thirty years ago and have related their stories to new elementary students, so that they also now ask questions about the experiment.”

But some youngsters well before high-school age were already thinking about the mysteries of space and the sun. One of the youngest was Amy Eddy, the then-seven-year-old daughter of Jack Eddy who was a coinvesti­gator and the crews’ teacher in solar physics. His daughter’s poem was pub­lished in the NASA science publication A New Sun: The Solar Results from Skylab along with a drawing:

Operation Skylab/Barium

Skylab’s third and last crew ofastronauts, now in orbit and embarked on a full program of scientific research, is scheduled to add another important data-col – lecting task to an already full agenda. In addition to continuing investigations of the sun, Earth resources, and medical effects of long duration space flight begun by preceding Skylab crews, the astronauts are going to participate in an experiment to trace geomagnetic field lines with barium ions. Beginning with the morning of November 2j, Marine Lt. Col. Gerald P. Carr, civilian scientist Dr. Edward G. Gibson, and Air Force Lt. Col. William R. Pogue will join a widespread network of observation stations waiting for the launch of a Nation­al Aeronautics and Space Administration Black Brant iv rocket from the Poker Flat Range near Fairbanks, Alaska. The rocket payload is designed to create a high-explosive-driven jet ofbarium vapor and inject it into the Earth’s magne­tosphere. It is hoped that the barium vapor, ionized by solar ultraviolet radia­tion, will illuminate geomagnetic field lines and make them visible to sensitive optical equipment for many thousands of kilometers.

Special Camera to Photograph
Comet Kohoutek from Skylab—

As the Comet Kohoutek streams through space at speeds exceeding 160,000 kilome-
ters an hour (100,000 miles per hour), astronauts aboard the Skylab space station

will use a special camera to photograph features not visible from Earth’s surface. The camera, called a Far Ultraviolet Electronographic Camera and designated Experiment S201, was built by the Naval Research Laboratory (nrl) in Wash­ington dc. Dr. George R. Carruthersprepared the instrument for use aboard the space station during a three-month crash program.

Release No.: 73-156

The Sun

how did the sun get in her place with her round and shiny happy face who cast the shadows high and low.

I do not know, I do not know.

Science on the Cheap

One example of the diversity of the scientific experiments on Skylab was a contribution by rescue and backup crewmember Don Lind. During Apol­lo, Lind had worked with Dr. Johannes Geiss of the University of Bern in Switzerland on an experiment that would use thin metal foils to capture solar wind particles on the lunar surface. That relationship would carry over into the genesis of a similar experiment on Skylab.

“When Dr. Geiss came over for the first Apollo launch,” Don Lind said, “he stayed at our home. And he and I were over in the simulator building one day, standing in the Skylab mock-up that was getting ready for this next mission series. And one of the two of us said, ‘Can we do any good sci­ence on Skylab?’

“We said, ‘Hey, we could put some of those foils on the outside struts that hold up the atm’ and we could pick what were called precipitating magne­tospheric particles. These are particles that were coming down the magnet­ic tail of the Earth, headed toward the Earth. When they struck the Earth’s atmosphere, that’s what caused the aurora. Now the assumption was those may be solar particles, because the energy that they had was exactly what the dynamo effect would produce from the solar wind.

“We proposed that this be added to the list of experiments, and it was called S230. Every NASA center had to evaluate all of the experiments, so they sent out this proposal to all the different space centers. Every space center said, ‘We recommend that it not be approved, because all the other experi­ments were approved a year and a half ago, and it’s simply too late.’

“But I knew exactly what had to happen. It was to be mounted on a fab­ric background, so I went over to the guy at Marshall, and said which fab­ric is the best?’ He said ‘armalon,’ so we proposed armalon.

“I went down to the Cape and said, ‘What is the best installation sequence that will not give you guys any problems?’ He said if we would install the sleeve at one point in the countdown and the foil panels at a different time, there would be no stowage problem. That is exactly what we requested.

“So nobody had any reason not to approve it, except that it was, quote ‘too late.’ But there was really no technical objection to it, so it was proposed, and it was the last experiment that came in.

“All the guys had to do on the flight was, every time they went out to pick up the atm film canisters, they had to pass this spot on one of the trusses, and they’d just take off the next foil and bring it in and bring it home and that would expose the next foil below it.

“A typical space experiment costs a million dollars or ten million or some­thing, and it usually weighs a couple hundred pounds, and it takes several hours of astronaut time. Well, our experiment cost $3,500, and it weighed less than ten pounds, and all it did was require an astronaut to take literally thirty seconds to pick up one of these things on a traverse that he was going to do anyway. And we made a significant scientific discovery for $ 3,500.

“Kenny Kleinknecht, who was the head of the Skylab program at that time, said to me one time, ‘Lind, this is my favorite experiment.’ ‘Well, why’s that?’ ‘It’s the cheapest.’”

Skylab Science Demonstrations

A Skylab bonus of three unscheduled science demonstrations performed by the sl-ii crew in their spare time has resulted in plans for expansion of this activi­ty by the crew ofsl-iii. The demonstrations, to be filmed by tv, movie and still cameras, will require a degree of inventiveness from the crew and will provide a change of pace for them during the mission. The activities will also provide material for educational applications. In addition, nasa scientists believe that examination of the photographs and video data of these demonstrations will be ofconsiderable assistance in designing even more valuable and complex science experiments onboard the Space Shuttle.

All of these new activities and others added to the mission at the last min­ute meant that crew training for Skylab ill presented a real challenge. The crew had been working to prepare for one mission and suddenly found itself with little time left to prepare for a greatly expanded one. And its position as last in line made getting adequate and proper training even more diffi­cult. “We didn’t have a chance in the beginning to get much real simulator training because the two crews ahead of us were going to get it all, and all of us Skylab guys had to wait till the Apollo Program was over,” Carr said. “So even Pete Conrad and his crew were only getting catch-as-catch-can training whenever the simulator was available. We were left playing with cardboard and other low-fidelity mockups to try to figure out what to do in flight.”

Pogue agreed: “We were the last crew. The first crew dominated the simu­lators when they were training. Then obviously the second crew also had to spend a lot of time in the simulators. In addition, the backup crew required increased training when the potential arose of rescuing the second crew if their rcs [thruster] problem worsened. Thus, we were left doing only peripheral stuff. We’d go wherever they weren’t getting trained. Whichev­er simulator or trainer they weren’t using, we would use, if it wasn’t down for maintenance. Then, of course, as soon as they launched, we finally got three months of relatively intense training.”

Despite being low on the priority list for the simulators, the crew kept busy with training activities. “One of our main tasks was to help put togeth­er the training program for all Skylab crewmen, so we worked hot and heavy with people in the training department to help them brainstorm and get that sort of stuff out of the way,” Carr said. “Since we didn’t have any sim­ulators to work with, and we couldn’t do anything else, it was probably an excellent use of our time.

“We each ended up with individual jobs: Ed was the guy in charge of experiments, and particularly the solar physics experiments. He had recent­ly written a textbook called The Quiet Sun and was the solar physics expert in the astronaut corps. Ed really focused heavily in that area. Bill managed a lot of the Skylab fluid systems and other experiments. My main focus was the Skylab navigational, guidance, and related systems. We structured our training so that all of us could operate anything, but if something went wrong, there was always one expert.”

The crew put particular focus on preparing for the Earth observations tasks during their training. Jerry Carr explained: “We did not want to be in the position at a debriefing of having someone ask us about something we saw and being able to say nothing more than ‘Yeah. We saw it. Sure was pret­ty.’ We went to Ken Kleinknecht and said that we really wanted to be intel­ligent observers of the Earth when we weren’t doing other things and asked if he could help us. They gave us forty hours of training time and promised to find at least twenty world experts on various Earth phenomena. Each of them was to come to the center to give us two-hour briefings on what’s impor­tant, what they wanted to know, and how we were to look for it.

“That turned out to be probably the most exciting and rewarding of all of the experiments that we did (Ed would probably put the atm first by a nar­row margin) because it provided the opportunity to ad lib, and ad lib intel­ligently. The kinds of people we worked with included Lee Silvers, who was an earthquake-fault expert from southern California; John Campbell, who was an expert on ice formation in the northern and southern latitudes; Bob Stevenson, who was an outstanding oceanographer from La Jolla; a des­ert formation expert; and several meteorologists. These people were pro­grammed into our training, enthusiastically came to the center, and talked about what data we could acquire that would provide them with the best insights into their particular studies of the Earth.

“We thoroughly enjoyed those forty hours of training. They also gave us a lot of extra film, partially to make up for some of the film that got ruined by the high temperatures in the station early on. On balance, we were able to do pretty well with what we had.”

While the first two missions left legacies that would create challenges for the third crew, there were some benefits as well. “We drew a lot of conclu­sions from what we saw on the first two missions,” Carr said. “I think the most important one was that when the first crew came back after twenty – eight days, they were pretty wobbly, pretty weak. So the second crew and ours decided to bump up the exercise periods. Al Bean’s crew doubled their exercise period from a half hour to an hour a day. Turns out that that didn’t appear to be enough either, so we increased it again to an hour and a half.”

“We were determined that we would stay longer and come back in bet­ter condition than the previous crews,” Gibson said, “partially because we learned from their experience on how to best exercise to counter the effects of zero gravity.”

Looking at the results of the second crew’s mission, Carr saw the roots of a potential problem for his flight and took action to prevent it. “We watched the way experiments were being done, and some of our procedures were mod­ified based on what the first two crews had learned,” Carr said. “We noticed that the second crew was really hustling all the time. By the end of their mis­sion their rate of activity was extremely high. We began telling some of the managers that we didn’t think that rate of work was wise for a ninety or an eighty-four-day mission because we weren’t sure that we were going to be able to sustain it. We thought that the workload should be slacked off some and there should be more rest. Everybody agreed to that, and the experi­ments were slowed and spread out quite a bit.”

It was to be a short-lived respite, however. “Unfortunately, they then added a whole bunch of new experiments, and we allowed ourselves to get trapped into this new situation. All of these experiments that were added at the last minute came with a lot of problems that we didn’t have the time to detect and take into consideration,” Carr said. “So, when we got up there, we found that we were overcommitted just like the first crew and that we were going to have to sustain the high Skylab II work pace for eighty-four days instead of the fifty-nine that they experienced.”

“The first crews really performed well and set pretty high standards for us to live up to,” said Gibson. “But in critiquing their performance, we couldn’t let them get swelled heads. Yes, the troops on Skylab I faced temperatures of 140 degrees and did a great job of making the space station useable. But after all, it was a dry heat!

“The second crew erected a larger sun shade that further lowered the temperatures down into the comfortable range except for one hot spot that formed when the station was in nearly continuous sunlight (technically, high beta angles)—at my sleep compartment! At those times, I just floated my cot into the mda and slept there.”

Finally, launch day drew close. And then it was postponed. Skylab ill’s scheduled 10 November launch date had to be delayed when cracks were found in the fins at the base of their Saturn IB booster—something that could be blamed on the thruster problems of the second Skylab crew. The SL-4 booster had been transported to the launch pad during the summer to serve as a booster for the potential Skylab II rescue mission; it was thought that this additional period of resting on the fins had caused the cracks. After the fins were replaced, the final Skylab crew left the launch pad at one-and – a-half minutes after 10:00 a. m. on 16 November.

“I went to bed early that night knowing full well I wouldn’t sleep worth a hoot,” Jerry Carr said. “Several days earlier we had started trying to shift our circadian clocks to allow us to go to bed at something like six in the evening and then wake up at two or three in the morning. So at about four o’clock in the morning, Elmer Taylor, who was our flight crew systems coordina­tor, came into my room and said, ‘The bird’s waiting. It’s time to go.’ I had actually fallen asleep, finally, but then I awoke with a start and got up.

“The first thing scheduled was our physical. They took microbiological swabs from many parts of our bodies to find what kind of flora and fau­na were living on us. They catalogued their findings as part of a long-term experiment to determine how much microbiological material we would leave on the spacecraft and what we would pick up, if anything, left by the crews ahead of us. It turned out that we did pick up some of the bugs left behind by the Skylab II guys.

“After our physicals, we went into the crew dining room and had break­fast with Deke [Slayton], Al [Shepard], Kenny Kleinknecht, and other man­agers. It’s interesting that our meals at the crew quarters were always steaks, eggs, and all those good things that are just wonderful for cholesterol. In the subsequent years, my wife and I have totally modified our diet so that now we don’t touch any of these foods mainly because of their high choles­terol and fat content. It’s amazing that dieticians in those days thought that lots of steak and eggs was the best thing in the world for us.

“After the meal, we began suiting up. I put a watch on my ankle, although I was not supposed to be taking anything extra up. But I had this Movado, which was a self-winding watch with one of those little counterweights in it. I was very curious to find out if this self-winding watch would still work in a weightless environment or whether the weightlessness would inhibit the motion of that little counterweight and keep it from winding the watch. Our official watches, Omegas that we wore on our wrists over the pressure suit, were regular hand-wound, plain old mechanical watches. So I put the Movado on my ankle and finished suiting up.

“Launch went off perfectly. It was a beautiful, clear day. I remember when the escape tower was finally kicked off, and it took the shroud with it. The light that came in the cabin was just blinding for a minute. It was incredi­ble. I tell a lot of people that riding on a booster like that is kind of like rid­ing on a train with square wheels. You’ve got lots of noise, lots of vibration. Then sure enough, when you hit that first booster shutdown, staging, and then the next booster kicking off, it’s just exactly what everybody has called it: a train wreck. I thought that was very apt.

“We got into orbit without any problems. Everything worked just fine. Eight minutes and twenty-eight seconds later we were on orbit and things were beginning to quiet down. Looking out the window for the first time, I was totally disoriented. I didn’t recognize a thing. Suddenly, somewhere in the first thirty minutes or so, I saw Italy, and I said to myself, ‘Italy really is shaped like a boot.’ I’ve never forgotten that particular experience.”

Ed Gibson described the experience: “Liftoff is an exciting time, and any crewperson who is not excited doesn’t really understand what’s about to happen.

“On that crisp cool morning of November 16, we rode in the standard NASA van out to the launch gantry, a thirty-seven-story building, and our Saturn IB booster resting on a structure that brought the Command Module hatch to the same level as if it were on top of a Saturn v booster, a structure that resembled the world’s largest milking stool. As we rode, the big blue eyes of Al Shepard bored into each of us looking for any sign of weakness, any indication that one of these rookies was not ready to go. I looked back with a defiant smile, ‘Not you, Big Al, or anyone else is getting my seat!’

“Then we took an elevator to the top floor of the gantry, walked along a narrow but exposed hallway, and waited to get strapped into the Com­mand Module. Since I sat in the center seat under the hatch, I was the last one in, which gave me a chance to just stand outside and gaze at the vehi­cle. For most of the preflight time we were busy and didn’t have time to reflect. But then I had about twenty minutes where I could just stand back and drink it all in.

“It was dark, but the booster was brightly illuminated by search lights on the ground. Because it had just been fueled, it was creaking, popping, and groaning from the weight and frigid temperatures of the liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, which caused continuous shrinking and readjustments of the metal. All of the electrical systems were up, gases were venting, and lights were blinking unlike what we had ever seen before. No longer just pas­sive metal, the vehicle had taken on a life of its own—it was alive!

“I found it difficult to get the wide grin off my face as I was strapped in. It was an exhilarating few moments of anticipation that to this day I high­ly value and feel fortunate that I had, an experience similarly noted by the previous two science pilots on their missions.

“As we waited for launch, we learned who was really in charge, who would have the last word. A few days before launch they discovered cracks in the fins on our booster. Because we were eager to go and not happy with the five-day delay required to replace the cracked fins, we started to refer to the booster as old Humpty Dumpty. Well, somehow that got out in the press and of course didn’t sit too well with those good troops who were working around the clock to get the booster ready in time. But, much to their credit they said nothing. . . at least not until twenty minutes before launch when we got a message, ‘Good luck, and God speed, from all the king’s horses and all the king’s men.’

“Finally we heard launch control start counting backwards from ten, then a tremendous sucking sound as propellants got ripped into combus­tion chambers, a noise Bill later said ‘sounded like they had just simultane­ously flushed every toilet in the Astrodome.’ Far below and lasting less than a second, we felt eight engines ignite in a ripple fire, and we crept off the pad. The front of my mind was focused on gauges and abort procedures, even as a little whisper spurted up from the back of my mind, ‘The base­ment just exploded!’

“The ride on the first stage was noisy and rough, like a Hummer doing eighty miles per hour over moguls. At about one minute into the flight, we went through the speed of sound and also reached the maximum of the aerodynamic forces and turbulence that built up as we rammed through the wall of air resistance ahead of us. The vibration became severe; I felt like a fly glued to a paint shaker. Then it smoothed out a little until staging at two minutes, which jolted us like a head-on crash quickly followed by a sharp impact from the rear.”

Bill Pogue recalled the incredible noise and vibration of the launch: “The noise caused by airflow over the booster had been building all during the first minute of launch. It was so loud that it was difficult to hear the inter­com between our suits. Once we were supersonic, all the outside noise ceased because the air noise couldn’t penetrate the shock wave attached to the Com­mand Module. Then we could hear the creaking and groaning of the struc­ture as it responded to abrupt swiveling and gimbaling of the engines. We also heard liquid propellants rushing through feed lines.

“Because of the intense vibration, I had difficulty reading my hardcopy checklist, which I was supposed to use to compare the predicted performance against our actual performance as indicated on the computer display.”

Ed Gibson said, “The second stage reminded me of a long, smooth ele­vator ride that accelerated ever faster as the mass of the propellants burned away. Eventually we weighed three times our normal weight, which was not bad because our hearts were at the same elevation as our heads so graying out was not even a possibility. But it was hard to lift a hand, and I noticed my cheeks and ears sliding towards the back of my head.

“Then, at a little over eight minutes, the engines cut off— sharply! Imme­diately, everything floated. Our spacecraft, which they tried so hard to keep clean at the Cape, filled up with small dirt and debris that floated up from its hiding places on the floor. In short order the air conditioning system cleaned it all up.

“Outside I saw the curved horizon and the coast of Florida receding. This was the best simulation yet! I looked back in to study the gauges and threw a few switches as we reconfigured the spacecraft for rendezvous with Skylab.

When I glanced out again, Italy going by and I understood what it’s like to travel at five miles a second. After a presentation when I got back, a high­way patrolman stepped forward and presented me with a ticket. Said he’d clocked me at 17,682 mph. . . in a 40.

“After several orbital maneuvers, a distant speck expanded into Skylab. It was missing one wing and a micrometeoroid-thermal shield, and it was covered by two jerry-rigged sunshades. I felt a warm glow—we had arrived at our new home. This was going to be great!”

After docking, the crew was to spend the night in their Command Mod­ule before moving into their new home. The delayed entry was prompt­ed by the problems the second crew had encountered with space sickness upon their arrival. Mission planners decided that in order to try to avoid the adaptation problems the second crew had encountered the third crew should spend a night in their Apollo capsule, giving them time to adjust to weightlessness before moving into the open volume of Skylab and getting to work. So after arriving at Skylab, instead of going inside the crew worked late stowing equipment in their Command Module.

“About that time,” Jerry Carr said, “Bill was saying, ‘I’m not really feel­ing too terribly well,’ So we talked about it, and I said, ‘Well, best thing to do, probably, is to eat. You’ll feel better.’ So we went ahead and ate our din­ner. One of Bill’s items was stewed tomatoes. He ate them down, waited for a while, then said, ‘It’s coming back up.’ So he got out his bag and barfed.

“The day before we left jsc, the doctors said, ‘Now, we’re real concerned about this space-sickness thing. We want you to take medications.’ In the medical sensitivity tests they’d done on us, they found which of the antinau­sea medications were best for each of us and which had the least side effects. The doctors said, ‘Jerry, we want you to take something. In fact, we want all three of you to take something.’ I said, ‘Wait a minute. I’m driving this multimillion-dollar vehicle, and I’m not even allowed to drive an automo­bile or fly an airplane when I take Scop-Dex [one of the medications]. Why do you want me to do it now?’ They said, ‘We don’t want you to get sick.’ I said, ‘I’ll take the sickness rather than the disorientation,’ and decided not to take the medication.

“Well, Bill wanted to be a good patient and said, ‘Okay. I’m not driving, and I’ll be able to manage fine, so I’ll take the Scop-Dex.’ What surprised us was that Bill was the one who got sick. Whenever Bill and I went up in a

Т-38 to do acrobatics, I was usually the one that turned green, not Bill, and he had taken the medication!”

Gibson agreed: “We called Bill ‘Old Iron Ears.’ You could never make him sick on the ground. Put him in a rotating chair, and he’d never get sick. He used to fly for the Thunderbirds, so you figure that if there’s anybody going to get sick, it’d be me, the real novice, or maybe even Jerry, but not Bill, which showed us that we didn’t really understand the problem.”

Bill Pogue said, as his experience proved, “There’s not a direct correlation between who suffers from motion sickness on the ground and who has prob­lems in space. I’ve observed that people who are susceptible to motion sick­ness, particularly susceptible, on Earth tend to not be in space, and vice ver­sa. Clearly someone like me who went through the full limit of head motions at the highest rpm in the rotating chair at the Pensacola naval facility and could have continued indefinitely is, by definition, highly resistant to motion sickness on the ground. They never could make me sick. But who got sick first on Skylab? I did. It’s sort of an inverse relationship.”

Faced with Pogue’s sickness, the crew discussed what to do about it. One of the biggest things on their mind was the burden they carried for the future. Right then, down on Earth, work was beginning on the Space Shuttle. Right then, also down on Earth, there were those in Congress who were opposed to the program. The success of the Space Shuttle depended on astronauts being able to make that one-shot glider landing. Sick astro­nauts, the Shuttle’s opponents would argue, would not be able to make that landing. The future, it seemed, was resting on the third crew proving that there wouldn’t be a problem.

And so with the future of spaceflight in mind, they decided what to do about Pogue’s sickness: “With all the pressure they were putting on us not to get sick, Ed and I said, ‘Well, look. Maybe we just won’t say anything,’” Jer­ry Carr recalled, “In fact we thought it might even be best to toss the vom­it down the Trash Airlock and not to report it. That way we wouldn’t get people all fuzzed down on the ground, and we could get the mission off to a smooth start. We knew we had a lot to do. So we said, ‘Okay. That’s what we’ll do. We hope Bill will feel better tomorrow, and we can press on.’

“Well, unfortunately Bill, being the sick one, was also the guy in charge of the communication system, and he had left the switch on to the equip­ment that was recording all the intercom conversation. So while we slept that night, people on the ground played it back and heard all of our previous conversations. The next morning, Al Shepard came up on the Capcom loop and said something like, ‘You guys have made a mistake here, and I hope you haven’t destroyed the vomitus bag.’ I said, ‘No, we haven’t done anything like that, and I agree with you. It was a dumb decision. We’ll put it in our medical report, weigh it, do all the necessary things, and go from here.

“So they discovered that we were trying to conceal information, which we felt pretty bad about. But that was our motive: we didn’t want to fuzz things up anymore on the ground. It was dumb. Yet we did it, we wish we hadn’t, but we did.”

That mistake behind them, it was time for the third Skylab mission to truly begin. After a night’s sleep, the crew awoke and prepared to move into the space station. “The next morning, Bill wasn’t feeling great but he was feeling better,” Carr said. “Ed and I were both okay. I had a feeling in my stomach that was kind of like a big knot, but I wasn’t sick. Ed just didn’t have any problems at all. We always thought that was kind of a marvel. Ed, the one who had the least flying time, was the nonsick one.”

The crew opened hatch and entered Skylab. Upon moving in, though, the crew found that they were not alone. Three figures, wearing the unmis­takable brown Skylab flight suits were waiting for them in the workshop. Before their departure, the Skylab II crew had stuffed the suits and posed them at various work locations on the lower deck. “When we arrived, we found three dummies that had been packed and put there by three previ­ous dummies,” Carr said. “It was quite a surprise to roll down through the tunnel and come across three other people in the spacecraft that we weren’t expecting.”

“Because we were really rushed at the beginning,” Ed Gibson said, “we left the dummies where they were for quite a while. Every time I was down there, I felt them staring at me, inspecting everything I did, but not lifting a hand to help—eerie.

“During those initial days, there was a real adaptation to zero gravity that had to take place. When launched, we were literally thrust into a whole new environment. When I looked in the mirror, a pumpkin looked back, a round red head with bright red eyeballs. No longer countered by gravity, my heart and arteries continued to ram blood up towards my head. It felt like I was lying down back here on Earth with my feet a little over my head. But after a few days, I lost about three pounds ofwater as did Jerry and Bill. Jerry and I then felt pretty good, but Bill continued to suffer.

“After working hard to become efficient, it all started to seem so easy, so effortless—from a physical standpoint. That’s because one of the real prob­lems with the stresses of spaceflight is that there were none. With no grav­ity to work against, our muscles weakened if we didn’t exercise enough, and our bones slowly lost calcium and also weakened, just like bedridden patients down here.

“But we had learned what exercises to do from the previous crews, and we lengthened our workout durations 50 percent above those of Skylab 11. We wanted to not only walk out of the Command Module at the end of our flight under our own power, we wanted to be in better condition than the previous crew, even though we would be in zero gravity over 40 percent lon­ger. We dedicated ourselves to that goal and continued to aggressively pur­sue it through strenuous workouts throughout the full duration of the mis­sion. And we succeeded.”

Between the missions on Skylab, ground control had dumped the pres­sure in the station down to a quarter of a psi. They had then repressurized it to provide pure, clean atmosphere. “I recollect that when I first entered Skylab,” said Pogue, “my first impression was, ‘Boy, it’s cold in here.’ But it felt really good, especially after having the nausea event the day before. Of course I also knew it was going to be big, but after entering, I felt, ‘This real­ly is big!’ Our immediate problem on entry into Skylab was trying to find all the right books and other things that we had to use. We worked till about 10:30 p. m. Houston time that first day just trying to get caught up.”

The enormity of Skylab created a situation never encountered before on a space mission. “Skylab was so large that they actually lost me one morn­ing,” said Gibson. “Skylab had many different compartments, and I was in the Orbital Workshop trying to find some of the old procedures that the pre­vious crew had left. I was buried deep down behind the freezers where they had stowed most of the previous mission data. When Jerry and Bill start­ed looking for me, they just glanced in the workshop and didn’t see a soul. Then they looked outside and said, ‘Hey, the Command Module’s still here. The hatch is not open. Guess he hasn’t left. So then, where is he?’ When I finally floated into view they said, ‘Where the heck have you been?’ So, it was possible to get lost in Skylab.”

Also the use of the same spacecraft by different crews created problems. Items got misplaced or totally lost, making it harder for each successive crew to operate.

“Skylab gave our nation its first experience with long-duration spaceflights in large spacecraft,” said Bill Pogue. “It had an internal volume of 12,500 cubic feet, the volume of a three-bedroom house. The huge forward com­partment was twenty-one feet in diameter and over twenty-five feet high. This spacious volume, numerous stowage lockers, and our longer missions led to some problems we had not encountered before. Some were amusing, but others were downright aggravating.

“Floating through the forward hatch of the forward compartment I saw Ed floating a few feet off the grid floor twenty-five feet below and obvious­ly out of reach of any handholds or other structure. I lunged toward him, gave him a shove, and, like two billiard balls, we went flying off in different directions toward the walls where we could grab something. We were both laughing as we went back to work.

“In other instances, the multiplicity of lockers and stowage locations led to frustrating problems and delays. One evening my flight activity message for the next day directed me to recharge the fluid level in a water loop used to cool an electronics package. The job looked simple: get a couple of tools, a flashlight to observe the accumulator, and a long hose that stretched from our water tanks to the work site, and then follow the procedure and restow everything. A piece of cake? Well, not quite.

“The hose wasn’t where it was supposed to be. No problem! I’ll just call ground and get some help, but it would be another twenty minutes before I could call Houston (no relay satellites back in ’73). I started looking in lock­ers adjacent to the one designated in the procedure and anywhere else that seemed like a logical place to stash it, but it was all to no avail.

“At the next aos, I explained the problem and asked if they could get in touch with Jack Lousma to see if he could remember where he put it after the last use. Jack is a highly disciplined individual, and I was confident he could tell me right where to find it. Jack was busy mowing the lawn at his home in Friendswood a few miles from jsc when he got a call from Mis­sion Control. He wiped the some of his sweat off and said he did remember using it, but if it wasn’t in the designated stowage location, he didn’t have the foggiest notion of where it might be.

“When I learned that Jack couldn’t help, I really felt defeated. Howev­er, Capcom had an alternative approach and told me where I could get two shorter hoses to connect together that would span the distance. I did, it worked, and I was able to finish the servicing task, exceeding allotted time by only a factor of five. Incidentally, I never found the hose. We had a stow­age book, which was generously cross-referenced, but the book only told us where an item was supposed to be.

“We had other cases of mysterious disappearances. Once a set of calibra­tion weights just vanished, and I spent four hours on my day off looking for them. They never did turn up. A systems checklist apparently floated away and was missing for weeks until Jerry flushed it out from its hiding place with thruster blasts from the maneuvering unit [the Manned Maneuvering Unit prototype tested inside Skylab].

“We lost other items, some of which eventually did turn up. One day when I whirled around to get a camera to take a picture of Hawaii, my eyeglasses flew off. I heard them bouncing around through the experiment compart­ment as I was taking the picture, but when I went to get them, they were gone. Three days later, Ed found them floating near the ceiling in his sleep compartment.

“Frequently our tableware, usually a knife, would get knocked off the mag­netized surface on our food trays and get caught in the airflow, which gently wafted it to the intake screen of the air duct system. It would hover there on the surface until retrieved. The screen became our lost and found depart­ment and the first place we looked whenever something was missing.

“Fortunately, today there is technology that can solve the problem. Tags placed on stowed items respond to an interrogation device and reveal their location using rf energy from the locator. It’s just what we need. Let’s hope it’s implemented on [the International Space Station], which ultimately will have more volume and surface area than Skylab. Otherwise, it’s back to the Skylab mode of operation: If it isn’t there, then happy hunting.”

The large volume also provided some interesting opportunities. Ed Gib­son said, “One night I could not resist the temptation of Skylab’s large open volume, and I tried sleeping out there floating completely free. It was the ulti­mate in relaxation—no pressures on your body whatsoever. Once I relaxed, my knees would bend slightly and my arms would float out straight, just like the position I had assumed floating in water many times on Earth. After a few

minutes, I would drift off into a nice. . . relaxing . . . quiet. . . whack!

“I had drifted into a wall that jarred me awake. During all subsequent tries, I remained poised just wondering when, where, and what I would hit again. It just didn’t work. Once I even ended up on the air intake screen in the ows, our lost and found department that usually rounded up consider­ably smaller objects. Eventually, I discovered that all I had to do was to slip an arm or leg under a bungee cord, and I could drift right off to sleep.

“Sleeping turned out not to be difficult at all without gravity in our sacks, especially early in the flight when we all were exhausted. If we did have trou­ble turning off because we worked right up to the time we floated into our sacks, reading was usually a good sleep aid. This situation was about the only time we did pull out a book. Time in space was too valuable to use for things we could do on the ground, a sentiment previously stated by Owen on Skylab 11.

“The fifteen sunrises and sunsets a day that we experienced could pres­ent a problem when trying to turn off and go to sleep. If you made the mis­take of sneaking out of the sack to look out the window, you might see Chi­na at high noon, and you then had the difficult task of convincing your mind and body that it really was time to sleep. Also early in the mission if you were clumsy in your sneaking, the guys watching Skylab’s rate gyros on the ground could tell you were up and might just call up and ask you to do ‘just one more thing.’ Later in the mission those ‘one more things’ got ruled out.”

With Pogue still suffering somewhat from space sickness, the crew tried to compensate for the reduced manpower available. “Bill and I decided to change jobs because my job was a little more sedentary than his,” Carr said. “So we swapped checklists and went on. Bill was able to stay quiet and get my work done while I did his. It worked out well. For the next couple of days, when Bill got to feeling a little funny, we would swap jobs. But for the most part, Bill was able to pick up and carry his load without any trou­ble at all.”

Despite their best effort, however, the crew began to run into what would become the second major problem of their stay on Skylab. “The schedule caught up with us,” Jerry Carr said, “We found that we had allowed our­selves to be scheduled on a daily schedule that was extremely dense. If you missed something, if you made a mistake and had to go back and do it again,

or if you were slow in doing something, you’d end up racing the clock and making more mistakes, screwing up more on an experiment and in gener­al just digging a deeper hole for yourself.

“The schedule was very tight, and we were hustling each and every min­ute just trying to meet it. That went on for many, many days. It was hard on morale. We were rushed and not able to get things done and experi­ments completed. We knew, we were just sure, that the experimenters on the ground were grinding their teeth when we had to report, ‘Well, I didn’t get your experiment done because, in my rush, I put the wrong filter in, or I made another error.’ We found that it was almost to the point where you had to schedule time to go the bathroom.

“Then we discovered that we had been scheduled at nearly the same rate that the second crew had achieved at the end of their flight! That explained why we were having so much trouble keeping up. But by the time that was finally recognized, we had achieved a skill level that was adequate to get the work done.

“After the first few days, we realized that eating three meals together was not an efficient use of time. However, we did have dinner together so that we would make sure we were functioning as a cohesive crew, and we each also needed that bit of social contact. It turned out to be a great decision. But after dinner, we’d go right back to the experiments and work till prob­ably nine o’clock at night when it would be time to wind down and go to bed. So at ten o’clock, when we were supposed to be in bed, none of us were ready to go to sleep because we still had things to pick up and put away and other things to do. Our minds were still moving too fast to rest. So, we just weren’t getting the right kind of rest and the right kind of leisure time that would allow us to do things right.

“Finally we began to get a little bit testy. In order to make up time on some of the experiments, to account for some of our fluffs, they had to redouble efforts to tighten the schedule even more. They were juggling our exercise around, and we ended up in several cases having to exercise right after a meal. That’s no time to be exercising, particularly up there where you couldn’t belch because with your food floating around inside you, you were liable to get it back with your belch.

“So we started grousing at them about that, they were working hard try­ing to keep us up with the schedule, we were giving them a hard time, and they were giving us a hard time. Finally we reached a point in the mission when we just had to take a day off. We had set up a ten-day week with the tenth day as a day off when we could do what we wanted. That was also to be the day when we could take a shower in our makeshift shower. But we gave back our first two or three days off. We said, ‘Go ahead and schedule us, and we’ll do some makeup work.’ Well, we got to the point where our morale was low, we were feeling lousy, and we were really getting drained. So we said ‘Let’s take our day off and get a good day’s rest. It’ll get us back in good shape again, and we can begin to maintain the pace.’

“So we took our day off and did what we wanted to do. We each took a shower. Bill and I did some reading, looking out the window, Earth obser­vations, photography, and other things. Ed worked his own schedule at the atm panel, did some relatively simple experiments, and made some ad lib observations. We had a good day.”

“Though we didn’t understand it at the time,” Ed Gibson said, “we and Mission Control were about to learn some valuable lessons for the future—les­sons that had to be learned sometime, and each of us, playing our respective roles, were the unsuspecting students.

“We found it disheartening to be in a situation where you could never catch up; it’s only a question of how far you are behind. We just pushed the buttons as fast as we could and moved on to the next. We were not used to working in that mode, and we didn’t plan on it being that way. An image of my high-school track coach flashed into my mind. With a wide grin he gave me a tip, ‘If you want to win the quarter-mile race, sprint the first hun­dred yards then just gradually increase your pace.’ ‘Thanks for that bit of wisdom, Coach.’ And that’s exactly what we’re trying to do here.

“Early in the mission we used our time at night and other open times to work to catch up. Later on I used these times to perform ad hoc experi­ments, such as the study of fluids in zero gravity, or when several open hours appeared, I’d go to my favorite spot, the atm control panel, where there was no end to challenges and opportunities to learn and contribute. I remember these open times the most, times when I had a chance to use some creativi­ty; the rush to continually catch up is remembered as just a blur.

“Of course our rushed pace caused mistakes, and I still chuckle about one of them: the televising of an experiment or other event. The switch to turn on the video tape recorder was not controlled by the camera but located in the mda, which was usually far from the subject that we were televising. More than once and always in a rush, I got the subject all nicely prepped, the mike and camera turned on, and started to record, or so I thought. Eventually when I’d realize that the video recorder wasn’t on, I’d drop every thing and streak into the mda muttering some rather creative profanities as I went. All too late I also realized the voice recording was on. ‘Oops, sorry ground.’

“The situation was compounded a bit because people had not yet ful­ly come to grips with the fact that Skylab was a different animal than all the relatively short missions to date. As in ascent, reentry, eva, or hazard­ous aircraft operations, which preceded spaceflight, it is absolutely essen­tial that nominal and malfunction procedures be spelled out in detail, sim­ulated with fidelity, then followed precisely. It’s a mindset that keeps people alive. However, once the hazardous operations give way to a normal day-to­day type of operations, like we usually experience here on Earth, it’s time to back off the rigid specification of every action, set goals and objectives, and let the people on the spot use their intelligence to perform to the best of their abilities.

“Because of everybody’s heritage and life-long conditioning, it was a tough mindset to break. As we began to get behind early in our flight, Mission Control, God love ’em, tried to help us as best they could in the only way they knew how: plan to the hilt and specify the procedures in detail. One morning we got a teleprinter message enumerating that day’s activities that stretched from the Command Module down to the Trash Airlock, a dis­tance of sixty-five feet!

“We wanted to be given some latitude in how we applied the brush strokes to the canvas; Mission Control, in their sincere efforts to help us, wanted us to continue painting by the numbers and in areas of ever decreasing size.

“I believe another contributing factor was that we lacked adequate inte­grated training with the Mission Control team. This team and ourselves never really understood what the other was thinking and planning before launch. Usually integrated training is done as much to train Mission Con­trol as the crew, but they’d been through it all with the first two missions and weren’t eager to revisit that ‘demanding boredom’ more than absolute­ly necessary. So when they came to us with a set of procedures, we simply said, ‘You’ve been through it all before, and we haven’t. So, we’ll just do it.’ But that didn’t allow us to develop much interaction, communication, and real rapport with the Mission Control team before we reached Skylab. This lack of flight experience and the time crunch led us to just accept almost all suggestions presented to us without question or resistance even when it really would have been appropriate.

“Lastly, the situation was further compounded by lack of open commu­nication after liftoff. You couldn’t just call down and say, ‘Hey, guys, let’s talk this out,’ because everything had to be open for the whole world to hear including the sensationalism-seeking press. So we thought, ‘Okay, we’ll just work through it.’ But that stoic approach didn’t work.”

As with the previous two crews, one form of open conversation was rel­ished by the crew of Skylab ill. “Every third day we had a link to the real world when we each got to talk with our families for ten to fifteen minutes,” Gibson said. “We really looked forward to those talks. Once I was describ­ing the awesome beauty of fires that I could see all along the African coast­line, a result of the farmers’ policy of slash burning. I pictured my family hanging with breathless anticipation on every word. Then I heard Julie, my youngest daughter, say, ‘Mommy, can I go out and play?’”

“We each really looked forward to talking with our families,” said Pogue. “However, the news wasn’t what we wanted to hear. Before our mission, I went by the office that handled government employees’ life insurance at jsc and asked if I could pay three months ahead to cover the time I would be on Skylab. I was told that a prepayment wasn’t possible but that the policy would be held effective until I returned. The bureaucracy didn’t coordinate too well within itself (or maybe it knew something that we didn’t) because my wife told me that we had just gotten a letter informing us that my poli­cy had lapsed and was about to be canceled.”

“One day in the midst of all our efforts to get back on schedule,” said Gib­son, “we were each working hard and lost in our individual worlds when we heard ‘bang! . . . bang! bang!’ The attitude control system thrusters, for the first time on our flight, had fired to help the Control Moment Gyros counteract the gradient of gravity trying to torque Skylab off target. As we worked inside the huge ows tank, it sounded like someone was outside work­ing over the tank with an equally huge sledgehammer. Now I know what it would be like to live inside a drum.”

While the crew bore the burden of getting back on schedule, they should not have borne the blame for being behind. According to lead flight director

Neil Hutchinson, “If you’ve read anything on the third manned flight, you know ‘we,’ the ground, and I who was right in the middle of it, were on the wrong side of the work scheduling issue. It was clearly a mistake on my and the control center’s part. We expected those three guys to pick right up where the Skylab II guys left off. We did not give them one ounce of zero-G time to get used to it; that is, to do the task a few times and then schedule it tight­er. When they got up there, Bill wasn’t feeling very good, which is another thing we’ve now come to accept as well. Yes, it happens, so what. But it was still kind of spooky back then when these guys were getting sick, which was not the fighter pilot image. Oh, what were we going to do?

“Once the guys got up there, I went through the activation, they did a terrific job. Then on the third day we sent a flight plan up that was like the day after the last flight plan of Skylab II, which we didn’t get done when the last flight crew returned. Of course we had practiced some with them on the ground before they launched. We had simulated between the umanned missions with each upcoming crew while we were unmanned for a while. Still it was a serious mistake on the part of the control center because we just expected Bill, Ed, and Jerry to just jump right on the bandwagon and take off.

“On their side of the equation, there was not enough communication ear­ly on to let us know that we were getting them in trouble. They were pretty quiet about it. Again it was the fighter-pilot mentality. ‘I’ll be damned if I’m going to cry “uncle.” I’m going to just keep trying to get this done. If they keep sending me a flight plan I can’t get done, I’m just going to try again.’

“Of course as we continued to press them, more mistakes begin to be made, more than we had seen with the other crews. And then you began to wonder, ‘Hmmm, what’s going on here?’ I think it might have been even a year or two later that I sat back, looked at that whole thing, and said, ‘You know, we really did something stupid. They didn’t cry “uncle” soon enough even though they had an absolutely valid reason for doing so. The control center had fouled up, and we just kept fouling up until we got them all fouled up too.’

“In the end of course they turned out to be every bit as good as the oth­er guys. They really turned out the stuff. You wouldn’t have believed that they were up there for nearly three months.

“It’s funny, one of those guys, Ed Gibson, has since become a very good friend of mine, and he and I have chatted about this off and on. He knows a lot about what went on there. It was clearly a case of the control center not recognizing that people needed some zero-G adjustment time before they could really be productive. There was just no point in pushing them early on, because they weren’t going to get the job done. We don’t do that these days on the Shuttle. We let them get really organized first.”

Public relations were also impacted by air-ground communications: “In an effort to increase our efficiency,” said Gibson, “we occasionally would have only one of us listening to the voice traffic from the ground and respond­ing to it while the other two of us turned off our radios and worked with­out interruption. We each signed up for an orbit as the radio-response guy. Well one day we made a mistake and for a whole orbit we all had our radi­os off!”

“When we came up to aos over one of the sites,” said Carr, “the ground called us, and we didn’t answer them for a whole orbit. Regrettably that caused a lot of concern down on the ground. And of course the press just thought that was wonderful. They said, ‘Look at that. These testy, crabby old astronauts up there won’t even answer the radio now. They’ve turned it off and won’t listen to the ground anymore.’ We’ve had to live under that stigma they falsely created ever since.”

“Problems that surfaced early in our mission were created by competent, well-intentioned people,” said Gibson. “The exceptions were the dramatic stories fabricated by the media and later repeated and exaggerated in a book on Skylab and a Harvard Business School study. There was no ‘strike in space’ by any stretch of the imagination. What could we threaten to do, go live on the moon? If any of these writers had gotten their information from just one of us, the crew or other people directly involved, responsible reporting and validity would have prevailed over expediency and sensationalism.”

While finally taking a day off gave the crew a much-needed break and helped relieve some of the stress they were under, it didn’t really change the situation. “Right after our real day off,” Jerry Carr said, “we got right back onto the treadmill, and things weren’t getting any better. Finally after sev­eral weeks into the mission, it all came to a head. After dinner we always had a medical conference with the flight surgeon where we would tell him how we were doing physically, and we give him the readings for the food that we’d eaten and the water we’d drunk and all other data that they need­ed for their metabolic analysis. I said, ‘You know, I think we need to have

a seance here.’ I told him about our situation, that we weren’t too terribly happy and that we were quite sure the ground wasn’t happy either. ‘It’s time for us to have a discussion, a frank discussion. We can do it on this chan­nel if they want.’

“That request went down to the doctors, they passed the word, and, when the press got a hold of it, they raised Cain. So Mission Control came back and said, ‘We’re going to have to do it on the open circuit.’ I said, ‘That’s fine.’

“So one evening we started talking with ground as we came up over Gold – stone [California]. We had the whole U. S. pass, essentially, for me to tell them all the things that were bothering us. ‘We need more time to rest. We need a schedule that’s not quite so packed. We don’t want to exercise after a meal. We need to get the pace of things under control.’ Then we said, ‘Okay, now, next pass over the U. S., you guys please tell us what your problems are.’

“So during the next U. S. pass, they bent our ear with all of the things that we were doing, including our rigidity that made it difficult for them to have the flexibility to schedule us how they needed to. We came back with, ‘Let’s think about it overnight and try to come up with a solution by the morning.’

“The next morning they sent a teletype message in which they recom­mended quite a few things. The most important one was to take all of the menial, routine housekeeping chores out of the schedule and put them on what we called a shopping list. They were things that needed to be done that day but not at any particular time. Of course, they still had to hard schedule those activities that were required at a specific time or location in orbit. By opening up the schedule that way, they really took the pressure off. We were no longer racing the clock to get things done. It solved the problem.

“They also said, ‘We’re not going to hassle you anymore during meals or give you any major assignments after dinner. After dinner is relaxation time for you. Do a few things like some student experiments, but we’re not going to have any major experiments after dinner.’

“We said ‘That sounds great. Let’s go with it!’ And it worked beautiful­ly. It’s a testimony to the human condition. Henry Ford probably learned it on his assembly line. The line can only go so fast before you start mak­ing mistakes.

“We also felt that the extra time was needed to do some creative think­ing. As a result of having all that extra time, we were all able to gin up some experiments that we had wanted to do and put on TV. Some of the results are being used today in schools such as short physics experiments and experi­ments with water in zero gravity. The loosening of the schedule really solved the problem. We got the more important experiments done immediately or at a required time, and everything else got done when we could. That flexi­bility gave us some control, put us in positive frame of mind, and increased our productivity. Everybody won!”

“After the crew came back and we had gotten through the debriefing pro­cess,” Neil Hutchinson recalled, “it was pretty obvious that we had had some real scheduling and performance problems at the beginning of the flight. There have been a couple of books written that stated that there was a strike in space even though that was clearly not the case. There is even a Harvard Business School case about it. If you get an MBA at Stanford or somewhere, you’re likely to get the Harvard Business School case about Skylab ill. They talk about people’s expectations and miscommunication as part of a man­agement process. I don’t know if it’s a good example or not.

“I just look on it as a time when we just weren’t thinking straight. We should have seen it even though it was very insidious because the mistakes were little at first. Just every once in a while you kind of caught in some­body’s tone of voice that he was irritated. It was not a good scene, but yes, good lessons were learned.”

Ed Gibson noted that, long before Skylab ill, he had experienced slow starts: “As a little kid, I was slow, a lethargic dreamer. One of my earliest memories is that of lying on the living room floor, drawing pictures of the solar system, and dreaming. I sensed a fascinating and never-ending world in the night sky and inherently knew that, somehow, I had to become part of it.

“However, at an early age, I had contracted osteomyelitis, a bone infec­tion in my leg; and amputation, the standard treatment, was contemplated. That would have really slowed me up. But first, my doctor thought a newly developed drug called ‘penicillin’ was worth a try. It worked.

“Then I encountered another roadblock: me. Dreamers make poor stu­dents, and the kindest thing I can say about my early academic career is that I was president of my first-grade class — two years in a row! Fortunately fail­ure was not in my dad’s makeup, and he was determined it wouldn’t be in mine either. My performance in high school rocketed up to mediocre. At

the University of Rochester, the only school that would accept me, I decid­ed it was then or never, and I got to work.

“The world of high-performance aircraft and rockets, steps towards the stars, fascinated me, but because I once had osteomyelitis, I could never pass a military flight physical. I had to accept my destiny as a ‘ground pounder’ and developed the skills to design what I couldn’t fly. It was a slower paced life than I wanted. That’s when my wife read me the article in the L. A. Times that ultimately led to my presence on Skylab. Julie has always been my most ardent supporter and constructive critic. Anything I’ve been priv­ileged to do would never have been possible without her support at every step along the way.

“I guess slow starts are in my blood.”

Others on the ground reflected on the situation. Skylab II commander Alan Bean said that the failure of NASA to shift gears after his mission was a major factor: “I think Mission Control should have gone back to how they started with us. I believe that they started them out near where we ended, rather than maybe io to 15 percent less. Kraft called Pete and me over to talk with him and his managers. I told them, ‘Mission Control plans to lighten up on these guys, but they don’t ever do it. They have to lighten up and let these guys catch their breath.’ Then finally Jerry Carr said ‘We’re not going to do this anymore, because we can’t.’ And he was right. They couldn’t. We couldn’t do it on Day 1—or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5—either.”

Bob Crippen, crewmember of smeat and Capcom for all three Skylab missions said: “I can see how the situation developed over the course of the three missions. On Conrad’s crew, most of that time was spent repairing Skylab so that it would function, and we didn’t really work that hard on the experiments. Then Bean and his crew went up, started off at a slow rate, and then kind of built up speed and got more efficient, and we accelerated after them. At the end of that mission, we on the ground were used to oper­ating at about that pace. And then here comes the new crew, Jerry Carr and his guys, and we started scheduling things at about the same rate that the last guys had ended up with.

“Part of what my job as Capcom was to try to sense what was going on, and truthfully, they were having some problems here and there, and we tried to scale back a little bit while we were doing scheduling at night. It was not until Jerry finally requested the conference to work things out that

Mission Control really understood what was happening. It took that to hit us on the head.

“But that’s also the job of the crew because when you’re sitting on the ground and trying to communicate only over the radio, it is hard to put your­self in their position in orbit. That’s one of the responsibilities of the com­mander —to come back and say, ‘Hey, this doesn’t work and that doesn’t work.’ They have to let us know what’s really going on.

“The ground controllers, my flight director [Don Puddy], and I were upset because we had not seen the problem coming on as big as it did and had not appreciated the extent that it was actually affecting the crew. They just kept trying to make things work without telling us about their difficulties.

“Even though we all initially got off on the wrong foot, Jerry, Bill, and Ed did super once we got things back on track. And no, there was no rebel­lion. I think the rest of the flight directors and the Capcoms would certain­ly say the same thing.”

With the scheduling problems worked out, the contrast was sharp. No longer held back by these difficulties, the crew’s performance accelerated rapidly. The slow start was behind them. “As it turned out, when the mission was over, we had completed every one of the experiments that we needed to do, plus a lot of extra ones that we dreamed up,” Carr said. And although it was not obvious to everyone at the time, valuable progress had been made in moving America’s space operations experience forward.

“As our mission progressed, Mission Control and we learned together how best to achieve the highest performance,” said Gibson. “They were hard – won lessons, and because of past history and philosophy of operations, they were inevitable lessons that had to be learned either right there on our mis­sion or ultimately on early space station missions.”

Throughout the whole mission, atm (solar observations) was an area that received considerable attention. “When we studied the sun,” Ed Gibson said, “we used the atm panel to monitor and control seven different instru­ments that ‘looked’ at the sun in visible light rays all the way down to x-rays. Even though I helped design the panel, it was a still a highly demanding and sometimes humbling task. Choices had to be continually made in space, time, and wavelength, sometimes within seconds, for experiment observa­tions and then translated into panel switch actuations. The Joint Observing

Programs helped quite a bit, but the real value of having a human at the con­trols was when targets of opportunity arose and we’d have to put the sheet music away and play more by ear.

“I had a background in plasma physics from Caltech (the sun is one big ball of hot plasma), and I also had studied solar physics ever since I knew I had a chance to fly Skylab. I used the writing of a textbook as a way to focus my efforts and gain more credibility to help put my body into one of the three front-row seats on launch day. I still found the atm a major challenge and empathized with other crewmen whose expertise lay elsewhere. How­ever, after being an operator of Skylab and the atm for eighty-four days, I feel strongly that mental challenges of this magnitude are essential to main­tain sanity on future long-duration missions.

“The most demanding task was trying to capture the birth of a flare, which lasts only a minute or two. Understanding a flare’s triggering mech­anism is essential if we are ever going to be able to predict when and where flares will occur. The difficulty came in because almost all instruments used film to record their data, a limited supply of film that could be rapidly consumed during the high data acquisition rates required by flare observa­tions. We had only so much film onboard and [a limited number of} evas to replace it. Thus, we were in a Catch-22. How do you know when to go into flare observations until a flare is well underway; that is, past its birth and well into its teenage years? It took a while to get the hang of it, and the extreme ultraviolet light monitor was indispensable.

“It was in the xuv monitor that one could see an active region start to simmer. It was almost like watching a pot of water getting ready to boil. When were the releases of points of xuv radiation (like the formation of little bubbles on the bottom of a pan) rapid and intense enough to predict the eruption of a flare (like large bubbles exploding upward to bring cha­os to the water)?

“Late in the mission I intently stood guard over the atm panel during my scheduled times of atm operation or any of my free time. After many hours of concentration and a few cases of infant mortality, I did catch a flare very early in its life (maybe even still just a toddler). It was much earlier than we’d been able to get data up to that time!

“I’m confident that given high resolution displays of the high energy emis­sions from the sun (xuv and x-rays) and the time to really study them, the true birth of a flare could be observed. Of course, these days the problem can be brute forced by continuous acquisition of electronic data on active regions at ultra high rates.”

A NASA press release at the time explained, “A solar flare recorded on Jan­uary 21, 1974 by the Skylab sl-iii mission has created considerable excitement within the worldwide solar physics community. The flare was not large by comparison with those recorded on previous Skylab flights. Ground observ­ers classified it as a medium sized flare. The excitement stems from the news that for the first time in the history of the Skylab missions, a solar flare has been recorded from its beginning through its expiration.”

“Also on our mission,” Ed Gibson said, “the liftoff of a huge prominence on the limb was observed by the coronagraph instrument. The resulting data yielded one of the classic pictures resulting from all of the atm mis­sions. The solar observatory in Hawaii saw the prominence start to liftoff and notified atm scientists in Houston. It was night for us so all three of us were fast asleep. Fortunately, the coronagraph was one instrument that could be operated remotely by the ground.

“Like on previous missions, we also observed the sun hurl out massive amounts of material called coronal mass ejections or cmes. The light from the corona is usually very faint. In contrast, cmes are seen as tight, ragged – edged knots of very intense light that explode outward at tremendous speeds. If conditions are right, some of the cme material can impact our upper atmo­sphere, our magnetosphere, and play havoc with our communications and electrical power grids on Earth. These events are commonly called solar storms.

“Although lunar geologists and space doctors would give me an argu­ment, I maintain that the atm was the best application of a human’s scien­tific knowledge and judgment in space ever accomplished.

“On the previous mission, atm operations also set a precedent when prin­cipal investigators were allowed to talk directly to the crew. The first time out of the box it was a pressure packed event but Bob MacQueen, an atm experimenter, did an excellent job. On our mission we also had a few dis­cussions with those who were ultimately responsible for the scientific return from several experiments, but we would have liked more.

“Several years after our flight, I talked to a cosmonaut who had flown much longer than we did on Skylab ill. They had a somewhat looser opera­tion. After gaining some familiarity with an experiment before flight, they

Skylab Science Demonstrations

39- Ed Gibson at the atm console.

would have a private one-on-one discussion with the investigator the night before it was to be performed. No end-to-end rigorous detailed procedures and timelines were usually created or desired. I believe that a middle ground, the Goldilocks solution, will achieve the highest scientific return.”

With the crew performing at high efficiency and rapidly catching up with and surpassing the tasks that had been planned preflight, they found time to laugh at themselves. “About half way through the mission,” Gibson recalled, “we all noticed water collecting on one on the panels in the Lower Equip­ment Bay of the Command Module. We thought it would be a bad situation if that water ever seeped into a compartment full of the electronics.

“Jerry took the initiative to get some cloth towels and soak up the water. He did a very neat job. Not wishing to waste the towels, he hung them out to dry in the ows. We all slapped our foreheads when the water evaporat­ed from the towels and went straight back to the coldest spot in the sta­tion — the Lower Equipment Bay—from where it had just come! We’d just found another way to keep a Skylab crewman busy.”

“Ed and Bill dreamed up more experiments than you could shake a stick at,” Carr said. “I think one of the funniest pieces of footage I’ve ever seen is

from one of Bill’s experiments. He wanted to demonstrate that, although air is a fluid, a medium just like water, it’s a lot harder to kick, paddle, or swim to get somewhere. He made some big cardboard fins for his hands and feet and put on a crash helmet with big bubble eyes, which made him look like a huge bug. When he drifted out to the center of the workshop and start­ed flapping his paddles, he actually started moving, although very slow­ly, demonstrating that air is a medium just like water in zero gravity, and you can move around in it—if you the have the right kind of tools and the patience. While Bill was really putting out the energy flapping around, Ed and I got a good laugh.”

The crew was also hitting their stride in terms of the experiments they were performing. They all became much more proficient at Earth observa­tions as the mission continued not only because of the time on orbit but also because of the extra training and emphasis they had put on it.

Ed Gibson recalled, “When we first got up there, we would say, ‘I guess we’re over Africa because it looks like the coastal outline ofAfrica. But after a while we could just look at a little patch of our planet and say, ‘There’s a red windswept desert. We must be over north Africa.’ or, ‘There’s an ocean current, and we can tell by its color and the way it’s meandering that it’s the Falkland current right off the east coast of South America,’ or, ‘There’s a lit­tle round patch of clear ocean surrounded by a ring of clouds. That’s where cold water is welling up and quenching cloud formation. Fishing must be good down there.’

“Whenever I had the chance, I would study and photograph my home­town of Buffalo. In December and January, it displayed its standard winter color: white. No matter which way the wind blew in from Canada, it picked up moisture over Lake Erie or Lake Ontario, then, when it hit the cold land, it all dumped out as snow onto Buffalo. However, the sight of it still warmed my heart. The people are great and ultimately responsible for what I’d done in life including flying over them 270 miles up (go bills!).”

“The diametrically opposite corner of the United States, southern Cali­fornia, received considerable attention from all three of us primarily because of the interest of Lee Silver at Caltech in the multitude of crisscrossing fault zones there,” said Pogue. “From our data he discovered a fault that propa­gated through the airfield at Palmdale, which was the construction site of the Space Shuttles. Fortunately, it has remained inactive. The San Andreas fault and others of less prominence could clearly be seen by eye.”

“On the other side of the Pacific plate,” said Gibson, “the Alpine fault looked like someone had scribed a long, deep, straight line from head to toe on South Island, New Zealand. It was boldly visible, especially at low sun angles.”

“I found weather observations equally interesting,” said Gibson. “One night I watched an extensive series of thunderstorms over the Andes. It was clear that the flashes came in groups as if one flash set off others perhaps through electromagnetic triggers transmitted through the ionosphere. A charge would build up, then ripple fire across the total system, not just at one location. At the time it all seemed so obvious and natural. It was enjoy­able to see and acquire an instinctive feel for some of the natural forces on the Earth. However, since then the results have been difficult to reproduce with instrument observations.”

With the longer duration of the third Skylab mission came more oppor­tunities for its crew to venture outside. When the Skylab design was in the requirements phase, the only way an eva capability could be justified was by the film installation and retrieval to service the atm experiments. It became a classic case—in space—of “If you build it, they will come.” The first of the mission’s four evas took place on Mission Day 7, better known on Earth as Thanksgiving Day. On this eva, as well as all the remaining ones, consid­erably less than 50 percent of the crew’s time was spent on the installation and retrieval of film. The rest of the time was spent on repairs and deploy­ment of other experiments.

Pogue was feeling much better after his initial bout of space sickness by the time he performed the first eva with Gibson. They installed atm film, repaired the microwave antenna, placed an experiment on the atm truss, and took pictures during the six-and-a-half hour eva.

evas were savored by each one of the Skylab crewmen.

“evas were good hard work that always left a feeling of accomplishment,” Ed Gibson said, “as well as some stimulating and lasting visual images. Our training at the neutral-buoyancy tank at Marshall was excellent. Working in the water was always a bit more difficult because of the water resistance and the fact that you could never get weighted out perfectly, which left forc­es and torques on your body that didn’t exist in space. If you could do it in the tank, you could do it in space.

“Over the years I spent a lot of time at Marshall, not only in training but also in the development of procedures and hardware. In fact the first time

Skylab Science Demonstrations

40. The third crew performed a total of four spacewalks during their eighty-four-day stay on Skylab.

Bill and I went out the airlock hatch, part of me expected to see the eyes of safety divers magnified behind their masks ready to assist and big bubbles streaming past my helmet then breaking up, flattening into mushrooms, and turning to white spray at the surface. Instead, it was all clear, no div­ers, no bubbles. Nothing was outside the hatch but our space station and the Earth 270 miles below.

“Three times I went out that hatch into the ‘truly great outdoors.’ When I was out there, it was a silent world, except for the whispers of my own breath. Sometimes I felt totally alone, like the world below didn’t even know I was there. But then I thought of the many people on consoles in Mission Con­trol who monitored everything on the station, including my every breath, word, and heartbeat, and I realized that I was being fully supported in the most extensive way possible.”

Jerry Carr described the spacewalk: “On the first eva, Bill and Ed went out and did a lot of repair work. We had a microwave antenna on the side of the spacecraft that faced the Earth that needed some diagnostics and repair. Unfortunately there were no handrails or foot restraints on that side; so when we trained for it in the neutral-buoyancy tank, we had to figure out how we were going to get it done.

“Basically, we found a place on a truss where we could fasten foot restraints. Bill got into these restraints and held on to Ed’s feet while he reached up and made the fix to the microwave antenna. It was ad hoc, very difficult, but it worked.”

Ed Gibson said, “Removing the cover from the microwave antenna elec­tronics box turned out to be exceptionally difficult. On one side of the box, four screws had to be removed. On the ground it was easy. But in flight because the real box had a metal lip that closely overhung the screws, it was anything but easy. The small screwdriver that fit the small screws had to be inserted into the slots from the side of the screw heads rather from than the top, which was extremely difficult in our large bulky eva gloves.

“Bill and I both gave it a shot. I remember thinking on my last try, ‘Our success here is limited only by something physical. We’re just not going back in until this little hummer is fixed!’ After the better part of an hour, we got the top removed and the work done. It felt good to achieve something diffi­cult, even though most of my fingernails had turned purple from the intense and prolonged squeezing of the screwdriver.

“To get to the antenna electronics box, many layers of aluminized Mylar insulation had to be cut away with a scissors. Most of these highly reflective pieces floated free and were blown away from Skylab by the gases venting from our suits. It happened at sunset so that the red light of the setting sun reflected off these tumbling reflectors in the distance. We commented on the cloud of red flashing lights that appeared to be following us. One of the tabloids picked up on what we saw and of course did not give the real expla­nation. Clearly, we were not chased by flashing red UFOs guided by extra­terrestrial intelligence.”

The new holiday eva tradition continued on Christmas Day. It was the first time a NASA astronaut had been in space on that day since the Apollo 8 crew was on their way back from the moon five years earlier. (Just a week earlier, another first had been marked—the 18 December launch of Soyuz 13 meant that for the first time, U. S. astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts were in space at the same time.) Among the tasks Carr and Pogue performed during the second eva was to take pictures of Comet Kohoutek.

“evas were spectacular,” Carr said. “The second eva was on Christmas Day, and Bill and I were out for seven hours. I was amazed when I got back in because I expected that I’d have to go to the bathroom something fierce,

but I didn’t. Apparently, I had gotten rid of a lot of fluids in the form of sweat through my pores. When I got back in, I was really sweaty, but I real­ly didn’t have to urinate. I was just amazed that, after seven hours, I wasn’t pretty interested in streaking to the urinal.”

“On Christmas of 1973,” Bill Pogue said, “Jerry and I were suited up for an eva to do routine servicing of the solar observatory (removing and replac­ing film magazines). I was to also set up a camera to take imagery of Com­et Kohoutek, and Jerry was to repair one of the solar telescopes using proce­dures developed by ground personnel. Jerry and I got into the Skylab airlock surrounded by two seventy-five-pound film magazines, a special camera for taking pictures of the comet, and tools for Jerry’s repair job.

“We closed the airlock hatches that sealed us off from the rest of Skylab and dumped the pressure from the airlock. When the pressure dropped our suits began to inflate and stiffen just as we expected. At this point I was curi­ous to see how our inflated suits and all the hardware were going to fit in the confined space of the airlock. It turned out to be no problem.

“When the airlock pressure dropped to a vacuum, we opened the hatch and began the first task. Jerry went hand over hand out to the end of the solar observatory while I got the replacement film magazines ready. I operat­ed an extendable boom to transfer the first film canister to Jerry; he removed it and loaded the exposed canister to the boom; I retracted the boom while Jerry loaded the fresh canister to replace the one he had just removed, and when he gave me the ок, I sent the second canister out, we repeated the pro­cedure and were finished in record time.

“I went into the airlock, grabbed the comet camera, and left the airlock as Jerry was returning for his tools. Everything was going like clockwork. I mounted the comet camera on a round Skylab strut and positioned it so that one of the solar arrays just blocked the sun. I couldn’t see the comet but ground had sent me a diagram by teleprinter. The instructions were clear, and it was a fairly easy job. I turned on the camera, and I was finished.

“Because this was my last eva, I decided to make the most of it. I crawled all over the accessible parts of Skylab. It reminded me of when I was a kid doing a mud crawl in a four-foot-deep stock tank used for watering cows and horses. The animals didn’t appreciate it, but very few people had swim­ming pools at that time, and the stock tank was one way to get cool during hot Oklahoma summers.

“My adventurous foray over Skylab ended with me at the sun end of the solar observatory. I was positioned where Jerry had been earlier and the view was breathtaking. When I leaned my head way back I could see the Earth below with no intervening structure in my line of sight. As others had described to me, I had the feeling I was doing a slow swan dive through space. My euphoria was suddenly dashed by comments from Ed who was holding down the fort inside. After I listened to Ed describe the problem that now occupied Mission Control, he asked where I was. I said, ‘The sun end of the atm.’ I quickly deduced that I had stayed too long at that loca­tion and got moving.

“On Skylab we had three large gyroscopes to maintain attitude control. It was obviously important to keep the telescopes pointed toward the sun during solar observations, and the gyros did a great job. Unfortunately one gyro had failed while Ed and I were out on our first eva (Thanksgiving of :i973). Theoretically the remaining two gyros were supposed to be adequate, but in fact we frequently had to perform a special procedure to keep them working properly.

“I was really embarrassed. I had unintentionally caused the current prob­lem, and it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out. Our suits were fed oxygen from inside Skylab, and there was no recycling of the air. It auto­matically fed in near the back of my head, flowed down across my face, and then escaped out the front of the suit near my waist. The outward airflow had acted like a small thruster, like letting the air out of a balloon. Although the force from the escaping air was small, my position at the sun end of the atm magnified the thrusting effect because I was about thirty feet from the centerline of Skylab. In other words this lever arm was giving the force of the escaping air a lot of leverage. The airflow from my suit was rotating a one-hundred-ton space station!

“Jerry called asking for help, and I was more than happy to accommodate him. He couldn’t reach a critical location, so I got into his work position and held his legs under my arms to extend his reach. It took a while but Jerry finally finished, we tidied up everything, I retrieved the comet camera, and we ended the eva. When we got back inside, Capcom informed us that we had set a new eva record of just over seven hours. What a blast!”

“That evening after the eva,” said Carr, “we did a TV presentation for the people on the ground. The three of us observed what it was like to be up there, what we saw on the ground, and how we felt about it. We had built a Christmas tree out of a bunch of food can liners from our kitchen and

fashioned them into what looked like a little aluminum cedar tree. Then we had taken several kinds of decals, orange and red and green decals, and stuck them on the tree for decoration. Lastly in honor of Comet Kohoutek, we made a silver foil star with a tail and put it on the top. That was our Christmas tree.”

Four days later Carr and Gibson each made their second eva, taking more comet pictures. They also obtained a sample of the Airlock Module’s micro­meteoroid cover, which was to be studied to learn more about the effects of space exposure.

“In terms of brilliance, Comet Kohoutek was a disappointment,” Carr said. “We and everybody on the ground thought that it was going to be a beautiful, brilliant comet. It turned out to be beautiful all right, but it was so faint that we really had to work to find it. Once we did find it, we observed a gorgeous thing: small, faint, but gorgeous! Although we took as many pictures as we could, I don’t think our film was sensitive enough to really record good data. I believe the only decent picture taken was with the cor- onagraph on the atm. The people on the ground got better pictures of the comet than we did.”

Though the pictures were disappointing, their observations weren’t a complete waste. “In order to best describe what we saw, we made draw­ings,” Carr said. “Ed was the point man on that. With Bill and I looking over his shoulder, he made the drawings and then did a TV report showing the drawings and describing the colors that we saw. There was a little beak on the front end of the comet, which he described as well as [giving] its sig­nificance. These pictures are now in the Smithsonian Air and Space Muse­um in Washington DC. The comet’s low brightness was a disappointment, but it was exciting to look for and find it. We also set up experiments out­side to try to capture it after we went back inside. We then brought them in on a subsequent eva.”

The crew’s fourth and final eva, on 3 February 1973, was once more per­formed by Carr and Gibson. It was the last to take place on Skylab and its purpose reflected that finality. They were to gather everything outside that was going to go back to Earth, including the last of the atm film and also try out a much simpler equipment transfer device than the extendable boom used on all other Skylab evas.

“On our last eva,” Ed Gibson recalled, “Jerry and I tried out the clothes­line that had been proposed as another way to send the large atm film packs

Skylab Science Demonstrations

4i. To supplement the disappointing atm imagery of Kohoutek, the crew made sketches from their own observations.

back and forth between the airlock and the sun end of the atm. An image sprang to mind of the clothesline [being] outside the station holding the wet towels that we had employed unsuccessfully to clean up the water in the [Lower Equipment Bay] of the Command Module, an image of ‘wash day on Skylab’ that we quickly censored and got back to work.”

“The clothesline could not have been more simple: a closed loop of rope sliding over two polished cylinders attached to hooks on each end of the line and two hooks about two feet apart clipped to the rope. Aside from some oscillations of the objects being transported, which we easily controlled, it functioned well.

“However, after the clothesline had served its purpose, it was left up and led to some congestion in the workstation at the airlock, which caused me a

problem. In subsequent work there, the rope got entangled with the umbil­ical connection to my suit and actually disconnected it. I could not feel it happening because the suit, once inflated, is a good insulator from all sub­tle contacts with the outside world. My secondary oxygen pack had picked up the task of keeping my suit inflated, but the fluid line leading to my liq­uid cooled garment was hosing out a water-glycol solution into the vacuum where it immediately turned to yellow ice. Once alerted by the ice foun­tain in front of me, I immediately remade the connection and everything returned to normal, except for the heart rate of the controller in Houston monitoring my suit.”

Skylab ill served as a bridge between two eras of evas. Not only did the crew perform the last eva of the Apollo era and the last using a Gemini hatch, they also paved the way for future evas of the Shuttle era. Though it was not used outside, the third crew, like the second, tested an early version of what would become the Manned Maneuvering Unit (mmu). In 1984 the backpack would allow astronauts to perform evas floating untethered in space, essentially its users became self-contained human satellites orbiting the Earth.

“The mmu was a lot of fun,” Bill Pogue recalled. “We flew it both shirt­sleeved and suited. Towards the end of our flight, we were running low on nitrogen gas that was used as the propellant, which meant that this had to be our last run. It got a little tense and exciting on Jerry’s last suited run. I was observing and taking pictures. We didn’t have any kind of remote radios or other types of communication with each other. But I could see the gauge on Jerry’s oxygen bottle on his right leg, and it was running low. I kept point­ing to it, and he kept gesturing that he wanted to finish.

“He kept going, finally got real close to finishing, but was getting red in the face. I slammed him down, pulled the release on his helmet, and popped it off. He was really sucking air but determined that he was going to finish, which I think he probably did. I was sweating bullets too because it looked like he was in C02 saturation. Actually, it was no big problem because at any time I could pop his helmet. I was just mother-henning him to death while he was sweating and puffing.”

Medical experiments and observations took an increasing priority for the crew that would set a new world space endurance record.

“The bicycle ergometer was a great exercise tool as well as a good experi­ment,” Ed Gibson said. “Especially early in the mission, it was a relief to have

Skylab Science Demonstrations

42. Carr pilots the maneuvering unit inside Skylab.

the blood pulled down into our legs to support our exercise, which relieved some of the fullness in our heads caused by the zero gravity and resulting upward fluid shift.

“Once I got pretty cranked up and developed a good sweat, a consider­able amount of water clung to my back in a sheet and oscillated like Jello as I peddled. If a towel was not available, the shake-like-a-dog procedure usu­ally worked. In zero gravity we couldn’t use the seat on the bike, the straps to hold us in place caused too much chafing, and my arms got tired of holding me stable at high workloads for forty-five minutes. Instead I used my head. I taped a folded towel on the ceiling and put the top of my head against it to stabilize my body while I peddled. It worked!

“We also had something onboard that the previous crews did not, a device called ‘Thornton’s Revenge,’ named in honor of Bill Thornton, the astro­naut-physician who had a knack of doing highly beneficial things in clever and simple ways. Previous crews reported that they could have used some form of exercise that maintained the strength in their leg muscles that they used for walking and running upon return to Earth.

“Bill again came to the rescue with a poor man’s treadmill. It consist­ed of a thin sheet of Teflon about a foot wide and three feet long and bun­gee cords that went over our shoulders to hold us down against the Teflon with a force equal to approximately our own weight. With only stocking feet against the Teflon, we could simulate walking or running by forcing our feet to slide over the Teflon one after the other, or we could just bounce up and down.

“Use of this exercise equipment was one of the few times I ever worried about what and when I ate before exercise. Eating some fire-hot chili before exercise is bad enough on Earth, but in zero gravity it’s doubly bad, a real kill­er. That’s because without gravity it bounces against the top of your stom­ach as well. Mixing chili and a treadmill aside, it was enjoyable exercise and definitely helped maintain leg strength. Thanks, Bill!

“Because of the extra requirements placed on the food system by the min­eral balance experiment, this system was as much of a medical experiment as it was a crew habitability system. Despite having to do double duty, we found the food to be great. Many people picture tough astronauts in space surviv­ing on food from squeeze tubes. That’s the wrong image. Try the image of filet mignon, lobster Newburg, and strawberry sundaes.”

“Our crew also broke new ground in the annals of spaceflight with the first full set of condiments in space,” said Bill Pogue. “Rita Rapp developed them for the second crew after Pete had really railed about the ‘yucky’ bland taste of their food. Imagine, they had no condiments! The second crew took up only regular salt and pepper. But we had deluxe treatment: liquid salt, liquid pepper, hot sauce, horseradish, and garlic! Life couldn’t get any bet­ter than that.”

Between luxuriously seasoned meals, work continued. Ed Gibson recalled: “We also performed an experiment to nail down previous crews’ observa­tions. Light flashes had been observed by dark-adapted crewpersons when outside the van Allen radiation belts [lunar flights] and in Earth orbit when going through the South Atlantic Anomaly (saa) where the inner radia­tion belt dips down lower than at all other locations around the globe. Even though a rough correspondence between the occurrence of the light flashes and presence in the saa was observed on the two previous Skylab missions, no exact correlation had been made. Bill Pogue was selected and enthusias­tically performed this arduous experiment.

“His task was to float in his sleep compartment wearing a blindfold and speak into a tape recorder every time he observed a flash. When the frequen­cy of flashes was plotted against Skylab’s position in orbit, a well-defined bell shaped curve resulted that was centered exactly over the saa. Jerry and I praised Bill for his Herculean effort in the name of science.

“After a few weeks into the mission, something happened that made me think Skylab had a heart. I was looking out the wardroom window watch­ing the spider web of lights blanketing the U. S. slide underneath while I held onto a handhold with the fingertips of one hand. Then I felt it—the station had a pulse, a heartbeat. I felt a beat just as real as a pulse in any­one’s wrist!

“Of course I understood the absurdity of my observation, but it took me a few seconds to realize that I was really feeling the surges of blood through my own arteries and the accompanying deflection of my arm and fingers. Normally, on Earth these forces are unnoticeable because they are swamped by gravity forces. We really did live in a world of fingertip forces.

“By the time the third mission rolled around, Goddard Space Flight Cen­ter had gotten pretty accurate at pointing lasers at Skylab. Using lasers of only a few watts, they provided a point light source of various colors that we could track by eye from right over gsfc to almost one thousand miles out to sea. We thought it amazing at the time, and we still do.”

Especially on the last of Skylab’s three missions, cleanliness became a big­ger challenge than ever. “As on Earth,” Bill Pogue said, “a lot of trash accu­mulated during the day including food packaging, tissues, wet wipes, dirty towels, and washcloths. Most of this trash was immediately shoved through a push-through slot into a waste container. However, bits of skin, finger­nails, hair, food crumbs, odd pieces of paper, and the like tended to drift around and eventually were sucked up against the air filter screens—our lost and found department. We used vacuum cleaners to clean off these screens, which took care of most of the problem.

“The worst mess was in the area where we ate. Small drops of liquid from our drinks and crumbs from our food would float around until they stuck on the wall or in the open grid ceiling above our food table. This grid and the area above it became quite dirty after three missions. Although we could see into this ceiling area, we couldn’t get our hands in to wipe it clean, so it became progressively worse throughout the missions. Near the end of the flight, it began to look like the bottom of a birdcage. I just stopped look­ing at it.

“Every two weeks we wiped down the walls and surfaces of the toilet with a biocide [disinfectant] to prevent a buildup of microorganisms such as germs or mold. Periodic cleaning of this type will be required for the Internation­al Space Station to prevent a gradual buildup of biologically active contam­ination. It will be a time-consuming procedure but essential to preserve a healthy environment for the crew.”

Like the other crews, Skylab ill crew used the shower onboard. “Although we found that a washcloth, soap, and water followed up with a towel were perfectly good for maintaining satisfactory hygiene in zero gravity, we also tried out the shower that Bill Schneider, our Skylab program director, had worked so hard to get onboard,” Gibson recalled. “He and others deserved that we each give it a fair try and evaluation.

“Granted it took a lot of time to set up and tear down, but I found it both interesting and refreshing. Because of its limited hot-water supply, it was like taking a shower with a Windex bottle. A smidgen of hot water was used to get wet and soaped up; the remaining smidgen was used to try to rinse off. The little hand vacuum, which was supposed to be used to remove the liquid, was awkward and difficult to use to reach all body parts. So I tried shaking like a dog, which sprayed most of the liquid to the inside surface of the shower enclosure, and then using the vacuum to clean it all up.

“I concluded that the whole procedure had to be made simpler and fast­er, analogous to passing through a car wash in two or three minutes if we are to have a shower on future stations. Nonetheless, we were appreciative that it was onboard and we had a chance to use it.”

Several challenges to the crew grew progressively more severe as the last of the three missions progressed because of the gradual decline in the station’s condition. Maintenance and repairs had been a part of the crew’s duties even before the first crew ever docked, and there were always concerns about the potential effects of further failures.

“Below the hydrogen tank in the third stage of our Saturn v, our pressur­ized habitable volume,” Bill Pogue said, “was the liquid oxygen tank or lox tank, which was about the volume of a one-car garage [2,500 cubic feet] and served as the Skylab trash dump site or dumpster. Without it life onboard Skylab would have been altogether different, just as life in our homes on Earth would be different if we had to keep our trash inside, had no garage, and our trash pickup stopped. There was the constant threat that we would lose access to our dumpster, and our habitable volume would gradually fill up with our trash, which included biodegradable garbage and waste [food residue and urine bags].

“Our access to our dumpster was through an airlock, the Trash Airlock. We compacted our garbage as much as possible, placed it in a special bag, put it into the TAL, closed the lid, opened the TAL to the vacuum of the lox tank, shoved the bag out and into the tank, and then repressurized the TAL to the pressure of our habitable volume for the next use.

“The lid on the TAL began to cause difficulties on the second mission. The hatch became more and more difficult to latch in the closed position. On our mission, the problem became more severe, and we were desperate to keep the tal working.

“We finally worked out a system whereby J erry would load the trash bag in the bin of the Trash Airlock, and I would float above holding onto the ceiling. As he pulled the lever to lock the hatch closed, I would push myself down sharply and stomp on the hatch lid while Jerry closed the locking lever.


“Was it a barnyard procedure? You bet, but it worked!”

Throughout their eighty-four days without gravity, the crew observed and thought about their reactions to this new mode of living. “Do we sense—or even need—up or down without gravity?” Ed Gibson recalled. “Early in our mission, our new world of zero gravity became familiar, then just plain comfortable. From many hours in a water tank, viewing films of previ­ous crews, and actual zero gravity experienced for short times in aircraft, I came to picture a large switch on my forehead with two positions: one-G and zero-G. It got automatically thrown at booster engine cutoff from the first to the second position.

“Of course there was a lot to learn about the techniques of working with­out gravity, but zero gravity seemed familiar even on the first day. The hard­er we worked, the more efficient and confident we became. We soon real­ized at the gut level that space and its zero gravity is not foreign, not hostile. Rather it became just as friendly as gravity on Earth once we adapted. I do not know why I adapted so quickly and relatively painlessly. I was just lucky. I have always been able to visualize and think in three dimensions. Thus, as soon as we entered Skylab, I felt that my life had taken on another dimen­sion, literally. No longer was there an up or down, except for visual referenc­es on panels or faces, but all dimensions became equal. Every motion was across, regardless of its direction inside or outside of Skylab.

“Yet my physiological responses did not forget gravity entirely. Some engi­neers came up with an ‘experiment’ for us to try out at our leisure. It was the ‘Dynamical Acceleration Reference Trajectory Studies (darts).’ When we tried out these Velcro-tipped darts, we were in for a surprise. Without concentration, a thrown dart would fly twenty to forty degrees up relative to the thrower, and far off the intended target. We lob things down here when we throw them to counteract gravity. Up there lobbing is not use­ful. Only by ‘pushing’ the dart out and away from my body was I able to achieve some accuracy. I tried to imagine what it would be like if I grew up in zero gravity, then came down to Earth and tried to gently throw some­thing. In this case, gravity would be viewed as the exception, not the rule, and a real inconvenience.

“A related series of observations were made by the Skylab II guys who experimented with fish. Normally they swam with their bellies towards a surface or their backs toward a light. But when they were excited, they swam in what aviators call outside loops. However, when their offspring were born, they considered three dimensions natural and didn’t favor one over anoth­er; that is, no up or down was recognized or needed. I felt a bit like them. But will it really be so easy to shed millions of years of human evolution by stepping down one generation that has never experienced gravity?

“Pete’s and Al’s guys made the most of the third dimension when it became available to them especially when they set up their own version of the Indy 500, streaking around the dome lockers. But by the time we got up to Sky­lab, the Control Moment Gyros were showing signs of real wear. Eventual­ly one died and a second one was pulling back the covers on its deathbed.

Thus, running around the dome lockers was verboten because of the stress it put on the cmgs.

“We had to find other ways to enjoy zero gravity. I found that if I lay on my back on the grid floor of the ows and used my wrists only to put some rotation and just a little translation into my body, I could go into a tuck posi­tion and spin exceptionally long times before I clanged into a wall. After reviewing the video, I asked Jannet, my oldest daughter, who was a diver at the time, if she could match one of my feats—it turned out to be a ten and one-half gainer in tuck position followed by a two and one-half forward in pike position.

“This tumbling exercise and the many others carried out by all Skylab crewmen illustrate the insensitivity to gross stimulation of the body’s ves­tibular apparatus (semicircular canals) that developed in zero gravity. In my tumbles, I would develop severe nystagmus, or twitching of the eyes, as my eyes tried to catch up with the fluid racing through my semicircular canals, but none of it ever coupled into the gut to create nausea. I just passively spun and then watched the world flicker by for ten to twenty seconds.”

The sensation of height proved to be inconsistent and elusive to Gibson: “There were a few exceptions in my ability to think of everything as just ‘across.’ One day after looking out a window in the mda for almost fifteen minutes to watch the new and interesting features that never stopped com­ing over the horizon, I glanced back inside. The local vertical on Earth had become aligned with the long open direction from the mda to the bottom of the ows. An instantaneous reaction surfaced: I’m going to fall! After I clutched a handhold, I laughed at myself and realized I hadn’t forgotten gravity completely.

“For several years after our return, every time I looked out a round port­hole in the galley of a commercial airliner, part of me felt I was floating back in Skylab looking out a round porthole in the mda except that from the airliner the horizon was flat and my vision covered half a city, not half a continent.

“Another but stronger feeling of height crept up on me during our space­walks. I have found it difficult to step out the door of an airplane when sky­diving. It was considerably easier to step out of the airlock even though we were 270 miles up. As long as I was close to structure, I still felt a part of it. But it felt different when I moved out and away.

“I have equated it in my mind to going to the top of a tall building and looking out. It’s pleasant, relaxing. But now, what happens if I open the window and walk out to the end of a long springboard where a steel-fisted Hulk Hogan holds me by my ankles—head down. ‘Intellectually,’ I know I’ll never fall. And even though I’m at the same height as I was inside, I’d have to admit. . . it feels a bit different.

“On an eva I had that same feeling, just more of it. Head down, I’d glide over Earth at a very serene five miles a second. And the laws of Sir Isaac Newton gave me full intellectual confidence that I was up there to stay. But when I moved away from the main body of Skylab, like hanging off the sun end of the atm, and looked straight down at Earth 270 miles below, I felt or saw nothing else around me. That’s when that same little guy from lift­off whispered again from nowhere, ‘Suppose that Newton guy was just a little bit wrong?’”

Though the possibility of an extended mission was already being explored well before their launch, officially, the target duration had remained at fif­ty-six days, as it had been for the second crew. By the time that duration was reached, the crew had a “Go” to stay. However, extensions were approved for a week at a time as the ground carefully monitored the status of the space­craft, the crew, and the supplies.

NASA press releases issued at the time give the official view:

Release No.: 74-20

What Goes Up

Подпись: • • •“In April of 1982 I was lucky enough to be assigned the job of NASA senior science representative to Australia — ‘nasa Rep,’ the Aussies called it,” Joe Kerwin said. “So I got on the plane in Houston, and some twenty-two hours and three stops later dragged my weary body into the Canberra air­port terminal.

“My new secretary met me in the official Ford, and we decided to drive to the office before she deposited me at the motel. ‘This is your desk, mate.’ she said—and the phone rang. ‘Hello,’ I yawned, ‘nasa representative.’

“’G’day, mate,’ said a voice. ‘I’ve got a bit of Skylab here and was curi­ous; were you still buying them back?’ Incredible! Not in the country two hours, and Skylab, my triumph and embarrassment, had followed me there like the bottle imp.

“By the way, the chap, from a small town near Perth, didn’t have a bit of Skylab. He had a great chunk of it, an intact oxygen tank about eight feet long and well-charred. We informally certified it for him, but NASA had enough samples and didn’t want this one. As far as I know, it’s still adorning the entrance to his pub. Skylab had returned to Earth, sure enough.”

Although the Skylab program had officially been designed to include only three manned missions, there had been discussions of other possibilities, from reboosting the station to launching the second Skylab workshop. Even NASA’s space-race rivals were intrigued by the possibilities the facility offered. If representatives of the Soviet space program had had their way, a much larger-scale version of what eventually became the Apollo-Soyuz Test Proj­ect would have involved both nations’ space station programs as well.

Marshall’s George Hardy recalled that before the launch of Skylab, James Fletcher, the NASA administrator, met with the head of the Soviet space agen­cy to discuss the possibility of cooperation in the event of an emergency in

spaceflight, among other topics. “So we got an invitation to go to Russia in 1969, and Bob Gilruth was selected to head that delegation, and then my name was on there,” Hardy said. “I got selected to go because nobody really knew what the Russians wanted to talk about, and there was some possibil­ity that maybe they wanted to talk a little about Skylab, although our man­agement was not terribly interested in talking about Skylab.”

The meeting was cordial but unproductive, so it was agreed that a Soviet delegation would come back to the United States the next year for a meet­ing at msc to further discuss rescue mission cooperation. “The discussion had been very general about rescue capability—what would we need: com­mon docking systems and things like that and rendezvous capabilities and all that sort of thing,” he said. “And it was very generic discussion.

“About the third or fourth day, they came in and the head of their dele­gation opened that meeting that day and said, ‘We’d like to make a propos­al,’” Hardy said. “And he just laid out flat a proposal where there’d be two missions: one where Soyuz would come to the Skylab, and one where the Command and Service Module would go to the Salyut.”

Under the plan, the Soviets offered to host the first mission on Salyut, and then their mission would be flown to Skylab, which at that point NASA believed was about a year from launch. While the delegations were in the next session, Gilruth called headquarters, and NASA deputy administrator George Low flew to Houston. “Basically the bottom line was that we didn’t want to have a mission with them with Skylab,” Hardy said. “We didn’t want to complicate Skylab to that extent. We thought it would delay Sky – lab. Turns out Skylab was delayed anyway.”

The NASA delegation returned to the meeting with the Soviets and explained that they didn’t believe it would work out to add such a major new element to the Skylab program. There were already obligations, they explained, to principal investigators that wouldn’t allow for such a substantial change to the program timetable. The Soviet delegation agreed that was understand­able and suggested that the joint mission could be flown the with second Skylab station, which they knew had been constructed. The NASA delega­tion explained that there were neither plans nor funding for the launch of the second Skylab.

Savvy to the U. S. system of allocating budget funds on a year-to-year basis, the Soviet delegation said that they understood that the Congress hadn’t appropriated the Skylab-в funds and that they could wait until that happened. “They were told no, that wouldn’t happen,” Hardy said. No mat­ter how the NASA delegation tried to explain it, he said, the Soviets wouldn’t believe that a space agency would build an entire space station with no intent to fly it.

“They couldn’t believe it,” he said. “And it was almost like—they didn’t say this—but you kind of got the impression they were feeling like, ‘These fellows just don’t want a space station with us.’ There has to be another rea­son, and that’s the reason they would assume.”

With a trip to Skylab off the table, the talks of any sort of joint space sta­tion operation fell apart. “It just wasn’t the time for it. And once that didn’t happen, then the trip to Salyut didn’t happen either, and that’s how we end­ed up with astp,” Hardy said. “We didn’t want to go to a Russian quote, ‘space station,’ and the Russians didn’t want us to come to theirs if they couldn’t come to ours.” Though the talks about the joint space station oper­ation ultimately proved unsuccessful, Hardy said he has many vivid mem­ories of the process.

“My introduction to that, I can remember it well,” George Hardy said, “I got a call from [Marshall deputy director Eberhard] Rees. I was here doing my job, and this was one morning at ten o’ clock or something. He said, ‘Can you be in Dr. Gilruth’s office this afternoon, by three o’clock?’ I said, ‘I guess so, I’ll see. What am I going for?’ He said, ‘Well, they’ll tell you when you get there.’ That was strange. So anyway, I did; I caught a plane. I got down there; I walked in that office and introduced myself, and [the secretary] said, ‘Oh yes, Dr. Gilruth’s expecting you soon. Have you got your tickets for Moscow yet?’ And that was the first time I knew I was going to Moscow.

“I really had a good time with [Gilruth]. We were coming back from that trip over there in ’69. The State Department had briefed us, and things were pretty contentious back in those days between the two countries. One of the things they told us was typical I guess—they told everybody that went over there, don’t lock your suitcase, ’cause they’re going to open it up anyway. Don’t lock it; they’ll break the lock on it. We all tried to adhere to that, but Gilruth evidently forgot it or something. They broke in, bust­ed the lock on it.

“Here we were coming back through Heathrow Airport, and Bob Gilruth had on his cowboy boots and that ten-gallon hat. He was carrying a suit­case that was tied up with a rope around it, and he had a big bag under his arm; he’d bought a fur or something for his wife over there. It looked like Texas walking down through there.

“When they came over here there must have been twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty of them. I know they had a whole wing at the Holiday Inn down there. And they had buses to take them to the Galleria, shopping. They loved to go to the Galleria. They’d buy flashlights and flashlight batteries; that was their favorite thing to take home.”

Hardy said that he has often wondered since then what would have hap­pened if things had worked out differently. “I don’t know what that would have cost,” Hardy said of the Skylab-Salyut proposal. “I don’t know how complicated that would have been. I don’t know what the political payoff of something like that would have been, or the scientific payoff, but that would have been a real joint mission, a real joint mission.”

In fact, he said, depending on how interested the Soviets had been in the program, it might have been possible to work out an arrangement that would have allowed the second Skylab to be flown. Funding issues aside, one of the biggest issues facing a second Skylab program was the limited number of U. S. Saturn launch vehicles and Apollo spacecraft remaining. Supplement­ing those with Soyuz rockets and capsules in a cooperative program, Har­dy noted, could have opened up new possibilities. “For example, you could have used Soyuz preferentially—four of theirs to our last two Command Modules, all sorts of options,” he said, adding, “They just seemed amazed that we built an entire vehicle and wouldn’t fly it.”

Scientist astronaut Phil Chapman was a member of a committee started after Apollo 14 to study space station possibilities. He was part of a group that advocated launching the Skylab-в workshop after modifying it to make it refurbishable. “The modifications to the workshop mostly involved pro­visions for replacing consumables,” Chapman recalled. “I think the most costly change was mounting the cmgs in palettes so they could be replaced when necessary. As I recall the additional cost was about $50 million in 1970 dollars. We could have had a permanent space station in 1975 with more real utility than the iss for a total cost twenty times less. Once that was up and running, our proposal was to build a reusable crew transfer vehicle, launched initially by a Saturn IB, and then to work on a reusable flyback booster.”

Chapman said that the possibilities posed by the Space Shuttle were seen by those in charge as making this proposal unnecessary. He said that NASA’s decision to pursue the Space Shuttle was one of the principal reasons he left the astronaut corps in 1972 rather than waiting for a chance to fly.

Plans for the future utilization of the Skylab hardware were not to be. When the Skylab ill crew closed the hatch as they left, it was to be the end of the operational program. On 9 February 1974, just one day after the return of Jerry Carr’s crew, Mission Control did some final systems testing, maneu­vered Skylab to a gravity gradient attitude (perpendicular to Earth, small end up and workshop end down, an orientation in which it would wobble but remain pretty stable without the need for electrical power or propel­lants) and turned off the power.

Experts at Marshall forecast that Skylab would descend from its end-of – mission altitude (about 235 nautical miles) only very gradually. If nothing were done, drag from the very thin atmosphere at that altitude would inex­orably pull it down, and it was estimated that reentry and burn-up would occur around March 1983. This estimate was based on the average density of the atmosphere at various levels of solar activity. It was known that between 1974 and 1980 solar activity would be increasing, approaching solar maxi­mum —a time when sunspots, flares, and the ejection of solar particles to and beyond the Earth would be more frequent. Increased solar activity heats the upper atmosphere, causing it to expand. The slight increase in density at Skylab’s altitude would increase drag, causing it to descend more quick­ly. All of this was factored in.

But the rise in solar activity during the 1970s was far from average. It was the most active solar cycle ever recorded with modern instruments. And through the years from 1974 to 1978, NASA and noaa differed in their fore­casts. noaa was forecasting higher drag than NASA.

NASA’s plan when Skylab was deactivated was to visit it again when the Space Shuttle was operational, and the first flight had been scheduled for early 1979—plenty of time. A remotely operated system would remove a propulsion module from the orbiter and place it in Skylab’s docking hatch, either to boost it to a high, safe altitude while plans were made to somehow activate it or to deorbit it safely to a remote ocean. Neither component was yet being built because of NASA’s very tight budget.

But as the sun gradually began to move Skylab’s demise earlier, the Shuttle schedule began to move later. An early 1979 launch began to look risky. Sky – lab would have to be visited earlier than the fifth flight, during the so-called test phase of the program, and Shuttle management didn’t want to risk that. Could anything be done to keep Skylab aloft longer? Maybe something could. In February 1977 a team of eight engineers—four from Marshall and four from Johnson—went to Bermuda to try to wake Skylab up. Bermuda was the only NASA ground station that still had command capability using the “old-fashioned” uhf radio band.

As Bill Chubb, at that time leader of the Support Team for Attitude Con­trol at Marshall, explained, “Four years had passed, and we had no idea of the condition of any of the systems nor did we even know if they were com – mandable from the Skylab ground station network. It was critical that we establish communications, interrogate, and activate these systems to facil­itate a controlled reentry.

“In order to evaluate what options were available to us, the state of the onboard systems had to be determined. Ground tracking told us when Sky­lab would be within communication range. Onboard batteries of the power system were most likely fully discharged. Power would be available on the vehicle only when the solar panels were pointing toward the sun. There was no way of knowing if its attitude would be such that the solar panels would be pointed toward the sun during the passes over Bermuda, making pow­er available to the onboard telemetry system. Even with power available we did not know whether it was operable. On March 6, 1978, as Skylab passed within range of the Bermuda Ground Tracking Station, the onboard Sky­lab Airlock Module command and telemetry system was commanded ‘on.’ Numerous ‘on’ commands were sent until at last data from Skylab came into the Bermuda Station. It was a moment none of us would forget!”

Charlie Harlan was appointed by Chris Kraft, director of Johnson, in 1977 to create and head up the Skylab Reentry Flight Control Team. He recalled: “We’d send a command to charge the batteries, but there had to be juice on the bus for it to be received. So those guys just sat out there, sending com­mand after command after command. Eventually one would get through.” With persistence the remaining good batteries were finally recharged, and Skylab was ready to be commanded out of its passive gravity-gradient atti­tude into one that would enable control of drag. What attitudes could the aging control system sustain?

Now that control of Skylab attitude had been reestablished, what was the desired direction in space? The lowest drag would make the station travel like an arrow (end-on) and provide the longest lifetime. But to best control the point of reentry and final destruction, a higher drag and shorter lifetime would be better. During this control period, Associated Press space report­er Howard Benedict (later the executive director of the Astronaut Scholar­ship Foundation for many years) noted that “Jack Lousma, a member of the (second) crew to live aboard the station for fifty-nine days, came by the Con­trol Center and asked if the station could be inhabited again. Chubb said ‘Yes,’ there was enough oxygen and nitrogen for perhaps a ninety-day mis­sion. Lousma noted that there probably was still plenty of asparagus aboard, too—left by past crews.” It was one of their least favorite dishes!

One of the three Control Moment Gyros used to control Skylab’s atti­tude had failed during the third crew’s mission, and another had developed increased bearing temperatures—a possible sign of impending failure. There was very little nitrogen left in the cold gas backup attitude control system. Two cmgs had to be enough to control Skylab and possibly even one. Was this possible?

Charlie Harlan again: “There were some heroes in this story, and maybe the biggest ones were Hans Kennel and his colleague John Glaese at msfc. They came up with what many of us thought was impossible—new control laws for the cmgs to control Skylab even if two of them failed, and new atti­tudes we could use to control drag. They brought in four guys from IBM who had done the original control system. They completely rewrote the software in Skylab’s IBM computer. They wrote over all the code that wasn’t needed like crew displays and controls. We turned their stuff into commands and sent it up. I remember one day we tumbled Skylab doing that. They’d sent us a matrix, and somehow the rows and columns got transposed and we sent up a bunch of garbage. But they caught it right away and we corrected it.”

Since the goal at that time was to stretch Skylab’s lifetime, drag had to be minimized. The attitude invented for that purpose was called “end-on velocity vector (eovv).”

Hans Kennel recalled: “To reduce the orbital decay the attitude control of the Skylab had to be regained and the drag had to be reduced by point­ing the long vehicle axis along the orbital velocity vector. Leading up to reinstatement of active control of Skylab and activation of eovv was the discussion about the health of one of the two remaining functional Con­trol Moment Gyros. It had shown signs toward the end of the original Sky – lab mission similar to the one that failed, and many thought failure of this second cmg was imminent.

“That would have left one cmg remaining, whereas Skylab needed two good cmgs for control. We were told the reactivation mission was ‘off’ unless we could come up with a single cmg backup for eovv. Along with the oth­er things described, we had to develop such a thing and we did. It would have been a ‘hairy’ operation, but it looked like it would work. On the basis of that, the go-ahead was given, and we even adapted the same momentum management methodology developed for single cmg control for use with the two functional cmgs.

“As a side note it was learned after the reactivation phase that the ailing cmg worked better if it was exposed to the sun and not in shadow for extend­ed periods and so we developed maneuver plans for flipping the vehicle from orbital workshop and habitation module forward to Apollo Telescope Mount forward, depending on which end was more favorable for heating the ail­ing cmg. From that point on it never again showed signs of problems and worked all throughout the remainder of eovv and tea [Torque Equilibri­um Attitude]. We developed the necessary control methods, built a simu­lation to verify the operation, including what kind of data the ground con­trollers would see, and with the help of IBM the necessary algorithms were implemented on the onboard computer.

“All this was done in record time (we were made aware of the problem on 20 March 1978, IBM got the necessary equations for the onboard com­puter on 26 April 1978, and eovv attitude was successfully entered 11 June 1978). And it worked very well reducing the orbital decay. This fast response was only possible because we were fluent in apl (a high level computer lan­guage); we had all the necessary simulation components due to previous experience; practically all red tape was cut; and the official documentation was done much later.”

The low drag attitude was expected to increase Skylab’s lifetime by about five months, into 1980. But early in 1978, the risk of a Skylab reentry was abrupt­ly dramatized by the Soviet space program. A Soviet spacecraft, Cosmos 954, entered the atmosphere and broke up over northern Canada, spreading nearly a hundred pounds of nuclear fuel over a broad swath of forest. Crit­ics began to question NASA’s plans. NASA assured the public that Skylab con­tained no radioactive material.

There was talk of extending Skylab’s life by moving it into a higher orbit. Engineers looked at the possibility of launching a booster that could be attached to Skylab. The Space Shuttle, it appeared, was the best answer. Launch on an unmanned rocket would mean figuring out how to auto­mate the reboosting. With the Shuttle, the crews could carry the booster to Skylab and attach it.

However, the same program that offered hope for Skylab’s salvation also brought that hope to an end. The first spaceworthy orbiter, Columbia, was plagued during testing with the loss of insulating ceramic tiles as well as trouble with its engines. A better system for applying the tiles was needed, and the first launch attempt slipped to 1981. Skylab was going to reenter.

The control team now knew what it had to do and prepared a plan for review by NASA headquarters. First they looked at how Skylab’s orbit varied as it moved around the Earth. Some orbits passed over many densely popu­lated land areas; others spent most of the time over water and desert. Using a population-density map prepared by the Department of Defense, they esti­mated the population under Skylab’s path for each orbit.

The next step was to forecast how Skylab might break up, how much of its bulk would survive reentry and hit Earth’s surface, and over what area. An analysis had been prepared by NASA before Skylab’s launch and was used. The end-of-mission Skylab weighed about 173,000 pounds, and about 50,000 pounds of that was expected to survive reentry.

Putting the two analyses together, NASA estimated that there was an aver­age chance of one in 152 that someone might be struck by debris. But on the very best orbits, it was much less than a tenth of that. These were the orbits that passed over southern Canada, then swept southeast over the Atlantic, skimmed just south of the tip of Africa, up the Pacific and Indian oceans to cross Australia, then across the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean until reach­ing North America again. If reentry could be contrived to happen east of North America and west of Australia on one of these orbits, Skylab could be safely disposed of.

So the plan was to put Skylab back into its old standard solar inertial, high-

drag attitude, then carefully track what effect that drag was having on its altitude and reentry point. As altitude decreased and drag increased, it would be impossible to maintain solar inertial; asymmetric drag would twist Sky – lab out of control. No problem; the unflappable Hans Kennel and his team had invented torque equilibrium altitude, a variation that perfectly balanced all the forces. Nominally the point of no return would be reached at seven­ty-five miles altitude. At that altitude, controllers would command Skylab to turn off its cmgs; it would immediately tumble. The known, lower drag of the tumbling configuration would result in a known entry location. And by varying the altitude at tumble time, the team believed it could stretch or shorten reentry to place it on one of the five “good” orbits for that day.

Charlie Harlan recalled, “Another hero was Richard Brown, a Rockwell contractor engineer. He figured out how much power we’d need to per­form each maneuver and what attitudes would achieve it. Since our pow­er margins were very small, we’d call Richard in whenever we were plan­ning an attitude change.” Headquarters agonized over the plan. There was a faction that didn’t want to give the public the impression that NASA was in full control; if the scheme backfired, there would be much blame. “This was the ‘God’ faction—they basically didn’t want to do anything,” Harlan said, “so they could blame it on God. But I’m a Deist. I believe God put us on Earth with certain capabilities, and expects us to do our best. My team and I were ready, and pretty optimistic.”

Finally, the call came from headquarters. John Yardley, acting as liaison between Johnson and the administrator, approved the plan. Harlan recalled telling Chris Kraft this and Chris saying, “Charlie, you got your answer. Hang up the phone and don’t answer it again.”

Headquarters had insisted on using predictions of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (norad) regarding reentry rather than nasa’s, “so that there would be one official source.” The NASA team was pretty sure their prediction was better, because they had a better knowledge of vehicle configuration and drag. And in June the NASA prediction was running about two days earlier than the norad one. “We knew the predictions would con­verge as we got close,” Harlan said. “But the media really wanted to be here for the big event, so we told them unofficially, ‘If you don’t want to miss it, get set up a couple of days early.’”

But before the final demise of Skylab, the general public had lots of advice

for NASA. Headlines in the 5 June 1979 edition of the Huntsville Times reported that “nasa Chief [Robert Frosch] Is Chided for Skylab’s Fall.” When asked where he would be at the time of Skylab’s return, Frosch said that “if not at NASA Headquarters, he would probably be at a bbq in his backyard.” Congressman Robert Walker, R, Pennsylvania, was “somewhat incredu­lous” that nobody had given any thought at all to tell the public what to do. NASA general counsel Neil Hosenball said, “Our people are the last in the world to know what to say or how to do it [alert the public].”

Other more specific advice came from the public: “Fill a robot plane with TNT and crash into it.” Or “shoot a missile at it.” All these many letters were sent to William O’Donnell, nasa’s director of public information, who said they were all answered. One of those giving him “most pause to compose” suggested having “the astronauts attach balloons (filled with helium) so it will float into outer space.”

A New York restaurant invited people to partake of Skylab cocktails — “two of these and you won’t know what hit you.” A large baseball mitt was erect­ed at Cape Canaveral to catch the station. Another radio station (kmbz, in Kansas) offered $9,800 for a piece of the station. Beanie hats with propel­lers and T-shirts were sold in San Francisco with a large “x” imprinted say­ing, “Hit me.” (There were jokes that shirts like this would keep the wear­er safe—there was no way the government could actually hit anything it aimed for.)

A psychic from California somehow got Harlan’s home phone number. “She called me several times with predictions. I’d say, ‘How do you know that?’ And she’d say, ‘Numerology.’ But she predicted impact on Dover, Del­aware, and she never called back afterwards.”

Meanwhile the press was having a field day. Some people in Washing­ton DC, had started a Chicken Little Society. There were bumper stickers (“Chicken Little was Right!” “Good to the Last Drop”), T-shirts, slogans, and contests—a kind of gallows humor. The New York Times chided NASA soberly. Officials in England offered advice: “Being inside a house would protect you from small pieces. . . .”

Garriott recalled: “I was greatly amused and annoyed by what I consid­ered to be a gross overreaction by the press and criticism of NASA. I had an interview request from one of the Houston press about it. I noted that I/we didn’t invite him to drive down into our community. And since he did, he was exposing our children to a greater risk of being hit by his car than we at NASA were exposing his family to by Skylab reentry. That was not too well received and didn’t make it to print. The statistics were simple and required some estimation, but I believe they were true.”

On 9 July headquarters opened the Skylab Coordination Center to keep everyone informed. On the tenth the forecast was made that entry would occur the next day between 7:00 a. m. and 5:00 p. m., Eastern daylight time. On the other side of the world in Australia, headlines warned of the impend­ing reentry. Sydney’s Sun newspaper ran a front-page headline, three lines deep in bold letters two inches tall, “skylab on aust crash course.”

“Skylab is on a crash course that could bring debris down on south­western Australia, American authorities said today,” the article, dated 10 July, read. “But it could still re-enter Earth’s atmosphere on any of 12 final orbits—including some over Sydney. The Western Australia State Emer­gency Service went on full alert this morning. ‘All we’ve heard is rumours,’ ses director Mr D. L. Hill said today.”

Another Sydney paper, the Daily Mirror, announced the same day “sky – lab zero hour near.” Stacked below it was the headline for another arti­cle, informing readers, “But here’s some down-to-Earth good news — $10 a week tax cut plan.”

Harlan and his team stood by to make their last decision. At midnight it appeared that Skylab would reenter on the very best orbit. But the predicted debris “footprint” was immense—nearly four thousand miles long by one hundred wide because the heavier pieces would be less affected by drag and would travel a lot farther. And it looked like the western edge of that foot­print might just overlap the U. S. east coast. So the tumbling command was given early, with Skylab just under eighty miles high, and the impact foot­print moved east as predicted.

But things rarely go exactly as predicted. Skylab’s breakup altitude had been calculated from its design structural strength requirements. The actu­al vehicle was stronger than the specs required. It held together longer than was calculated, breaking up over the Indian Ocean. Most of the debris fell harmlessly into the water, but some chunks fell in western Australia along a line from south to northeast of Perth. (Nine days later, Perth hosted the Miss Universe pageant, and a piece of the fallen spacecraft was on display during the event.) “Thank God—and Charlie’s team—no one was hurt,” Kerwin said.

What Goes Up

47- Johnson Space Center officials and flight controllers monitor the reentry of Skylab.

A ground track of Skylab in its last hour or so of existence on 11 July starts from mid-Canada and moves easterly out into the North Atlantic. It then moves southeast into the South Atlantic, just as planned. It passes south of the Cape of Good Hope and turns northeast across the Indian Ocean toward Australia, beginning to seriously break apart and the lighter pieces to burn up. Some smaller pieces scattered down on tin roofs in Esperance and other nearby cities, but a few of the larger chunks (such as the film vault and the oxygen and nitrogen tanks) presumably carried on overhead into the Outback. Some are doubtless still there, awaiting some adventuresome explorer to find them.

The raining of debris on Australia prompted legal action—the town of Esperance fined the U. S. State Department four hundred dollars for litter­ing. Kerwin recalled that his primary emotion at seeing the end of his one­time home was simply relief that nobody was hurt. “I think we’d seen it com­ing for long enough not to be surprised or regretful,” he said.

In Australia the reentering spacecraft put on a show for those who saw it. The Skylab control center actually got a phone call from the captain of a commercial aircraft flying along Australia’s west coast. It was night, and he excitedly described the multiple streaks of flame blazing through the sky.

That was the clue for the team to turn off their consoles and go home. Air­line pilot Bill Anderson gave an even more useful visual report when he not­ed that he and his passengers saw separate fireballs change from a “bright blue into an orangey-red” as the debris broke up and descended into the lower atmosphere.

A woman in the town of Esperance in southwest Australia was among those on the ground who saw Skylab fall. It seemed like “a shower of spar­kling lights—like a rocket—passed overhead with no sound, until about a half a minute or so, [then] there was this loud boom,” she said.

Once more, giant bold letters graced Sydney’s Sun. Above the headline “skylab hits wa station,” was followed by a distinctly local angle to the story: “The world stood in awe today as Skylab tore itself apart in a spectac­ular display and spattered the Earth of a remote West Australia sheep sta­tion,” the 12 July article begins. “But Noondinia Station manager John Seil­er’s only complaint was: ‘It scared my horses.’”

When Skylab fell, Stan Thornton was a seventeen-year-old truck driver’s assistant living in Esperance, a remote coastal town set in the Bay of Isles, some 440 miles southeast of the capital Perth. He calls his resort hometown “a real paradise.”

That momentous evening in a region known for incredibly clear night skies, Stan traveled with his sister and some friends to a local lookout and watched in fascination as a profusion of bright, colorful man-made mete­ors ripped across the starry heavens, indicating the end of Skylab. The fol­lowing morning his mother Elsie “went out to [their] backyard, which had only been mowed and cleaned the previous day, and found charcoal piec­es spread all over the grass.” After Elsie had told her son about the burnt chunks of debris, he gathered up a few sizeable pieces and went to the local State Emergency Services (ses) office with his friend Ray Rose.

Local ses manager Phil Arlidge contacted a Perth radio station at 6:00 p. m., as he’d heard about a reward on offer for the first person to deliver an authenticated piece of Skylab to a newspaper office in San Francisco with­in seventy-two hours. The radio station was up to the challenge Arlidge’s call presented and confirmed with him that the San Francisco Examiner was indeed prepared to pay a ten-thousand-dollar reward—on the provi­so it reached their office in America within three days. Stan Thornton was about to be involved in the race of a lifetime.

What Goes Up

48. Owen Garriott with an oxygen tank, one of the largest pieces of Skylab debris to be recovered, at the U. S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville al.

Things began to happen in a hurry, according to Stan. “The radio peo­ple were in Esperance with the help of a Swan Brewery Lear Jet within two hours. They had already contacted Qantas to arrange my ticket and pass­port, and the next day I flew out of Perth for the United States. In San Fran­cisco I was greeted at the airport by Qantas manager Gil Whelan, who had arranged a limousine, and I was taken straight to the downtown Examin­er office.”

Stan had delivered the pieces with twenty-four hours to spare and was pre­sented with his bounty. The newspaper’s reporters wanted to know every­thing about him and how he had found the Skylab debris. “There was a press conference at the Examiner office, and after this they locked the piec­es into a briefcase to be sent to NASA,” he recalled. He suddenly found him­self an instant celebrity and will never forget the experience. “For someone who had not been out of Esperance, it was pretty over the top,” he recently reflected. Within a couple of days, Ray Rose and Stan’s family had joined him in San Francisco to celebrate his good fortune. NASA examined the

charred fragments and Stan said they later told him the pieces were “some type of balsa wood from the insulation.”

Recently moving to a new home just south of Perth with his partner Ker­ry and their two children, his famous “dash for cash” still brings back vivid memories for the truck driver/laborer, and despite the passage of time Stan said he still has a degree of friendly notoriety among his family and friends. “The only part of my life that really changed over here,” he reflects with a shy smile, “was the word ‘Skylab’ was placed in front of my name. Even today I am actually still greeted as ‘Skylab.’”

People said a lot of nice things about Harlan and his team after it was over—including a headline in the Toronto Star, “How Charlie saved Cana­da from Skylab!” But the kudos he remembers most fondly came in a splash­down party skit put on by his neighbors. It featured a song called, “A Salute to Charles: He Couldn’t Keep It Up.” An excerpt (to the tune of “The Eyes of Texas Are upon You”):

The parts ofSkylab are upon you

All the live long day

The parts ofSkylab are upon you,

We hope they will decay;

Did you hear the Skylab coming,

Was it a big surprise?

Little ladies in Australia Are saying, “Damn your eyes! ”

Crew Cleared for Another Week in Space

The three Skylab astronauts, now in their 76th day in orbit, today were given a go-aheadfor seven additional days. For the remainder of the mission, weekly evaluations of the hardware, consumables, and crew will be made by nasa offi­cials. The first such weekly review was completed this afternoon. William C. Schneider, Skylab Program Director, said, the crew members “are in good spir­its and excellent physical condition and the spacecraft is in good shape to contin­ue. ” Originally, the three Skylab manned missions were planned, successively, for one of 28days and two of 56days. The first mission lasted 28days, the second was extended to 79 days, and the third was then planned as an open-ended 60-day mission with consumables aboard to provide for as many as 87 days.

Release No.: 74-31

The Legacy of Skylab

Perhaps part of Skylab’s greatest legacy is the extent to which its legacy is often overlooked. Tucked between the glory ofApollo and the much longer Space Shuttle program, Skylab’s importance to human space exploration can be lost in the shadows of its older and younger siblings. However, it is a testament to how effective Skylab was in breaking new ground in human spaceflight that the lessons it taught are now largely taken for granted.

Before Skylab, however, many of the things that today seem to have been part of spaceflight forever were still largely terra incognita. Nearly all of the transition from the early explorations of Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo to the living and working in space on the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station was a result of the successes of the three Skylab crews. They truly were able to homestead the space frontier and pave the way for those that would come after them.

So What Was Learned from the Skylab Experience?

It is possible to live and work in space

If Skylab taught the world nothing else, that one legacy alone would have made possible the future of human spaceflight. Three successive new records for spaceflight duration proved that people could live in space for far longer than the fourteen-day Gemini 7 mission that had set the bar for NASA pre­viously. The depressurization tragedy at the end of the Soviet Union’s twen­ty-three-day Soyuz 11 mission meant that much of the information from that flight was lost. And while some basic experiments had been conducted within the relatively limited confines of previous spacecraft, Skylab would prove that meaningful scientific research could be conducted in orbit—a fact that was vital to the success of the Shuttle’s science missions.

An astronaut can spend months in space
and live out a healthy life

The fact that no one had ever lived in space for the duration the Skylab astro-
nauts did also meant that no one knew what would happen when someone

returned to Earth after that long. It was one thing to know that a person could live in space for that long, but unless they were able to then return safely home, that knowledge meant very little. Extensive medical baselin­ing before and during the flight gave confidence that the crews could come home in good health, and longitudinal data collected afterwards—to this very day—monitored their recovery after the flight.

Space motion sickness is a problem,
but not an insurmountable one

Prior to Skylab there was only limited awareness of the problems that can result during adaptation to the microgravity environment. Skylab certainly demonstrated that space motion sickness could be a serious short-term prob­lem for astronauts, but it also laid the groundwork for dealing with it.

Meaningful work can be conducted on spacewalks Today’s International Space Station has myriad translation aids on its exterior to allow astronauts to move around while conducting repairs and improve­ments to the spacecraft. Skylab, on the other hand, had next to none, out­side of the path from the airlock to the atm. The fact that Skylab was unpre­pared for the sort of repair work its crews would have to conduct shows just how little was understood at the time about the possibilities presented by extravehicular activity. Everything from the construction of the iss to the repair of the Hubble Space Telescope owes a debt of gratitude to the prece­dent set by Skylab. For many years the patch on NASA’s eva space suits fea­tured three stars in its background, each representing a key eva—one for Ed White’s first U. S. spacewalk, one for Apollo 11’s first steps on the moon, and one representing Conrad and Kerwin’s first Skylab eva.

A space station is a viable platform for research There had been numerous proposals for space stations over the years, but Skylab was the first time NASA implemented one of those proposals, and the first time anyone in the world manned one spacecraft with multiple suc­cessive crews.

Skylab also marked a turning point in spaceflight. Previously the focus of human spaceflight had been working toward exploring another world. Low Earth orbit had been only a steppingstone to the moon. Skylab proved that humans could make valuable scientific contributions in orbit, paving the way for spaceflight in the coming years.

Valuable astronomy and Earth observation
can be conducted from space

Skylab revealed how complex and dynamic the sun is and marked the begin­ning of a new era in mankind’s understanding of the active nature of the sun and its relationship to the Earth. While the idea of conducting astro­nomical research in space did not begin with Skylab, the success of the work done there lay the groundwork for future generations of space telescopes. Skylab also laid the groundwork for a field of Earth observations research that has continued since on both the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station.

Crew Given Go for Another Week in Space

Astronauts Carr, Gibson, and Pogue now in their 63 rd day in space were given the go for another seven days. For the remainder of the mission, weekly evalua­tions of crew, consumables, and hardware will be made by nasa officials. The second weekly review was completed this afternoon. Following the review of in­flight medical data and the recommendation of Dr. Charles A. Berry, nasa Director for Life Sciences, William C. Schneider, Skylab Program Director, gave approval for the mission to continue until at least January 24.

Concerned about what effect the extended duration would have on the health of the astronauts when they returned to Earth, NASA doctors were getting more ambitious with the postflight medical protocols for the crew. NASA medical management had been persuaded, over the strenuous objec­tions of some astronauts, that direct measurement of cardiac output by means of a catheter inserted into an artery in the arm and extended into the heart would give valuable data about the possible effect of weightlessness on car­diac function. A dry run was scheduled with the deputy crew flight surgeon as the test subject. A Johnson Space Center press release reported:

A volunteer subject fainted and suffered a brief loss of heart beat but was imme­diately revived during a cardiac output evaluation test conducted under con­trolled conditions for the Skylab medical program. The subject, Lt. Col. Edouard Burchard, required no hospitalization and was back on duty a short time lat­er. The incident occurred after a needle had been placed in Lt. Col. Burchard’s artery during the test. He responded immediately to the normal therapy that includes an injection of atropine and external heart massage.

The test, conducted at the Space Center Hospital near the Johnson Space Cen­ter, was a simulation ofone ofthe postflight medical analysis checks considered for the Skylab iii astronauts after their return to Houston. The purpose of the test is to get a precise measurement ofcardiac output by introducing a dye into the blood system. Such dye dilution tests are routinely used in cardiac research diagnosis and medical officials said Lt. Col. Burchard’s reaction was very unusu­al. As a result of the incident, however, Skylab program officials have decid­ed that the test will not be performed on any of the returning [astronauts]. Lt. Col. Burchard is a West German Air Force medical officer detailed to nasa. He serves as deputy flight surgeon for the Skylab iii crew.

So that was another worry off the minds of the crew. “Upon our return, we presented Dr. Burchard with a bottle of scotch with a note thanking him for ‘his willingness to protect us with his life,’ said Carr.

Another area of concern was the dwindling supplies available on Skylab. From the outset the food supply had presented a challenge—namely, there wasn’t going to be enough of it to extend the mission as much as mission planners hoped. Further, the “gold-rush” attitude of scientists who wanted to get their experiments on the manifest after the success of Skylab II fur­ther limited the amount of space available for other cargo on the Command Module, which carried the Skylab ill crew to the station. With a lack of food on the station and a lack of space to carry more food, there was a need for an innovative solution.

And an innovative solution was found: food bars. When the crew launched, they carried with them a supply of nutritional bars developed jointly by NASA, the U. S. Air Force, and the Pillsbury Company. “The difficulty with stay­ing up that long was that we had only had enough food for fifty-six days and too many experiments to take up in the Command Module, which was already overloaded,” Gibson said. “So we volunteered, actually agreed, that every third day we would eat nothing but food bars. That was probably one of the most supreme sacrifices anyone has ever made for the space pro­gram by a crewperson—food bars! Every third day we each consumed four of these little guys. Breakfast, which lasted about thirty seconds, consisted of four or five crunches, and that was it. There was no more. Meal’s over. I still have a tough time looking a food bar in the face. But the bars worked, and we stayed. They had all the minerals and calories that we needed. It’s not an ideal way to live, but they did work.”

However, the lack of one item really bothered Gibson. “You just can’t over­estimate the value of a good butter cookie,” he said. “We had an econom­ic system on Skylab whose basic monetary unit was the butter cookie. But when we got up there, most of our money had been consumed previously by both the hungry Marine [Jack Lousma] and the Skylab I commander, Pete Conrad. It caused runaway deflation in the Skylab ill economy.”

As if eighty days of food bars every third day were not enough, mission protocols required that the crew follow their Skylab diet regimen for twen­ty-one days before the mission. Even after returning to Earth at the end of the mission there was no reprieve; postflight required another eighteen days on the Skylab ill food-bar diet plan.

Other supplies also became of concern. “In mid-January 1973, when we were enjoying one of our ‘days off,’” Bill Pogue said, “I was looking down at the Earth, Ed was at the atm, and Jerry was doing an inventory of our remain­ing supplies. He floated down to his sleep compartment and left a message on the в Channel tape recorder for the ground control folks. Jerry was tell­ing them that he had discovered a shortage of approximately ten urine sam­ple containers, which we each used every morning to replace our individ­ual containers that we filled the day before. A part of this task was to draw off and put 122 milliliters (about the size of a large ice cube) into the sample receptacle, place the urine sample into a freezer, and put the used urine stor­age bag into a trash bag for later dumping into the Skylab dumpster.

“The next day Capcom called with a solution. We were to change out the urine bags every thirty-six hours instead of every twenty-four hours; using this procedure would insure the remaining sample containers would last to the end of the mission. We followed this makeshift procedure, and every­thing worked out fine. Still we couldn’t understand how the shortage had occurred because the people who prepared the mission equipment were high­ly competent. The waste sampling was to support a mineral-balance study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, and the principal investi­gator, Don Whedon, was most meticulous and careful. Once we got back to Earth we forgot the whole thing.

“Two months after our return the Astronaut Office had a ‘Pin Party’ for those Skylab astronauts who had made their first flight into space. The par­ty is essentially a shindig where the backup crews roast the prime crews for many of their goofs and screw-ups during training and flight. The prime crews swallow hard, thank the backup crews for all their hard work, respond with good-natured humility and perhaps a few light-hearted jests of their own, and then make special individual presentations to their backup crews.

“Jerry, Ed, and I just about fell out of our chairs when Al Bean presented the missing urine sample containers mounted, on a plaque with a person­al dedication plate, to each backup crewman. We looked at each other and burst out laughing. The ‘Mystery of the Purloined Pee Bags’ had been solved. They had been taken mistakenly by Al when the second crew returned to Earth. Of course we all quizzed Al and his crew about why they had devel­oped a personal attachment to our pee bags.”

Of course, the crew and spacecraft were not the only ones affected by the duration of the Skylab program. Neil Hutchinson recalled that Mission

Control was also feeling the effects of the passing months. “It wasn’t like a prize fight where you train, fight, and it’s over,” he said. “In Apollo and now the early Shuttle flights, you train and train and train, then the mis­sion goes, you work your tail off for a number of days, and the mission’s over. Skylab was never over.

“Chuck Lewis, another Skylab flight director, got very ill. I flew the last flight with a kidney problem that ended up in a very serious surgery. It’s not serious anymore, but in those days it was. It really, really took a lot out of people because you never got loose from it.

“We did all kinds of crazy stuff. We had our families in the control center for affairs to try and change the pace of things. I held a big dinner. Maybe all the flight directors did. It was a big sit-down catered dinner in the con­trol center while the spacecraft was still up but during one of those times between manned missions. We were just trying to keep people’s focus and attention. Still we had guys drop out of teams, and we had to change play­ers. It wasn’t that the control center was wilting on [Skylab ill], it really was the sum of the three missions; we were all on duty for nine months.

“But by this latter part of the mission, both the crew and Mission Con­trol were feeling really good because it all was going dramatically better. It became obvious we would get everything done and then some, and every­one could see the light at the end of the tunnel. As the last weeks of Skylab ill went by, we all felt better and better.”

Finally, the end of the mission neared. “I recall the last six weeks of the flight were very pleasant for me for two reasons,” Pogue said. “One, we’d achieved the skill level sufficient to do the job quickly and accurately, and second, I no longer suffered from the head congestion that had plagued me for about the first six weeks of the flight. Midway through the mission it didn’t seem to bother me much but became more like a low-grade head­ache that doesn’t really hurt very much even though it still slightly decreas­es your efficiency.

“We all had a much better feeling about the whole flight toward the end. In fact they asked us if we would stay up for another ten days. James Fletch­er, the administrator, had suggested it. Mentally we were prepared to come back, but more important, we didn’t have any food left even though we prob­ably could have scraped together enough for a few more days. But we came back on schedule after eighty-four days.”

“Medically,” said Gibson, “there were at least two reasons for our feeling so good: after our bone marrow greatly slowed its production of red blood

Crew Given Go for Another Week in Space

43- Carr and Pogue have fun with the possibilities presented by weightlessness.

cells, because our hemoglobin concentration had gone up in the first few days of the mission when we lost about three pounds of plasma from our circulating blood volume, it took a while for the hemoglobin concentration to drop low enough to trigger red blood cell production again. That pro­duction brought our circulating red cell mass back to normal, if not high­er, toward the end of our flight. Also the tone of our cardiovascular systems had improved as measured by our response to the lbnp, which saw us reach presyncope [nearly pass out] about midway through our mission, before we significantly improved.

“From a personal standpoint, I would have liked to stay longer. I had come to think of our space station as an average, three-bedroom home, just 270

miles high and whistling over the ground at five miles a second. It felt so sol­id, so secure, that it didn’t really feel like flying at all until we left it in our reentry vehicle. Then it felt just like leaving my home down here, sliding into a sports car, and accelerating back onto the road again. It was a comfortable home for sure, and I would’ve been content to live there for many years, if I had friends and family along. . . and maybe a good pizza delivery.”

There were things about the Earth that the crew missed, though. In his book of humorous space anecdotes, The Light Stuff Bob Ward, a newspa­per editor at The Huntsville Times reported:

As the final Skylab flight approached the end of its nearly three months in orbit, Houston used the onboard teleprinter to send up changes in the plans for closing down the workshop and preparing for the trip back home.

Astronaut Carr noted that these teleprinted instructions stretched almost from one end of the space station to the other— about fifty feet. That evening, when the new team of flight controllers came on duty, Carr couldn’t resist remarking that he fully expected Houston next to transmit the Old Testament.

Later Carr notified Capcom Bruce McCandless that the Skylab 3 crew want­ed a book sent up via teleprinter that evening.

“War and Peace? ” asked McCandless.

“No,”replied Carr, “Little Women.”

Then there was a brief pause and the astronaut added: “Bill (Pogue) says send him up a big one. ”

That the spacemen manning the last, and longest, Skylab mission may have had the opposite sex on their minds had been suggested a few days before the Little Women episode.

From orbit the astronauts had held a live press conference. nasa intended to include a set ofquestions from a sixth-grade class in a small town in New York, but time ran out. During the next orbit, flight controller Dick Truly went ahead and asked the children’s questions, anyway. He savedfor last the question ofone sixth-grader who wanted to know, Did the astronauts miss female companion­ship after so long a time?

Ed Gibson, taken aback by the frankness of the query, responded: “What grade did you say that was, Dick?”

Then the astronaut answered the precocious child’s question with a frank­ness of his own:

“Obviously, yes. ’”

Though the lumps given the Skylab ill crew by the media early in the mis­sion would affect their reputation for years to come, coverage of their suc­cesses by the same media was not as forthcoming. As the mission neared its close, it was one of the first missions ever since the early Gemini missions that the flight itself was not extensively covered by the media. In fact they didn’t even cover the return after the crew had set a time-in-space world record.

“At the time it happened, I didn’t realize it,” Gibson said, “because I was not looking at it from the outside. People were making a big deal out of it being an exception, but once I thought about it after a couple of months, I realized that in a way it was good. We’re trying to make space to be more commonplace and space operations to be more accepted because they were being done repetitively and routinely. People can’t be sitting on the edge of their chairs all the time, especially during long space station operations. So it’s only natural that people’s attention would drop off. I thought, ‘Well, maybe we’ve reached a point in the space program where it’s become more mature and lack of day-to-day interest it’s only natural. So, let’s accept it and move on.’”

And so, for Skylab’s final crew, preparations for the trip home began. Before they left, this final crew of Skylab made sure to leave the welcome mat out for any future visitors. Although there were no plans for another Skylab mission, there were hopes that a crew of the Space Shuttle, which it was then believed would be in operation well before Skylab deorbited, might come up, check on America’s first space station, and even boost it to a high­er orbit to extend its lifetime.

A time capsule was even prepared for a visiting Shuttle crew to return to Earth. In it were a variety of materials, which would allow scientists to study the effects of long-term exposure to the spacecraft’s environment. Although the time capsule was left inside Skylab, the venting of the atmosphere after the crew left meant that the materials were exposed to vacuum.

A few hiccups arose in getting ready to button up Skylab, close the hatch, and deorbit in the Command Module. “The frozen urine samples had to be put into an insulated container for their trip home,” Ed Gibson said. “Each of these frozen samples, about the size of a very large ice cube and often called ‘urinesicles’ by the crew, had expanded just slightly beyond the size allotted for them in the return containers. Thus I had a problem. Reentry was a few short hours away, and the whole sample return for a major exper­iment was in jeopardy.

“As beads of sweat seeped out, clung to me, and soaked my suit, out to the rescue came the old trusty Swiss Army knife with its coarse file! The sharp plastic edges on the entry lips of the containers were all then filed down to a bull nose so that the urinesicles could be forced into each container with only minimal damage. To say the least, I was elated that the knife was on board. Because of the concern for inhaling particles, we were not allowed to have files in the tool kit, but the one in the Swiss Army knife had slipped by detection.

“In the midst of these busy preparations to leave Skylab, the back of our minds began reflecting on its future. I thought that Skylab was a great office, lab, and home that had set the bar high for all space stations to come. And I also thought that in another three to six years, our current home would be replaced by either Skylab в, which is now sliced up and residing in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, or another space station, which would be much easier and cheaper to build since we had the Skylab experience. ‘We only needed a few large tanks, a couple of dock­ing ports, a door for spacewalks, some first-class experiments, three or four cmgs to stabilize it all, and a few large solar panels hung on the outside for electricity. Nope, it’s not hard. All of it can be off the shelf. Let’s go do it.’ But that was not to be when it was decided to throw away the booster capa­bilities we dearly paid for in Apollo and hang our future on only one access to space, a shuttle.

“It all had seemed like it would be so simple, yet it’s come out so hard. The history of pioneering tells us that we shouldn’t expect progress to take place in a straight line. Thus, I have confidence that in the future we will have fully completed space stations in Earth orbit, each manned with six to eight highly competent personnel and that their scientific and techno­logic productivity will be judged far worth the effort by all but the most ardent critics.”

“Just as we were leaving Skylab, I almost had one last task to complete,” said Pogue. “We had lost a coolant loop between the second and the third mis­sions, so one of the first things I had to do when we arrived was to replen­ish and recharge the glycol solution in the failed coolant loop. It was that loop that we used for our water-cooled long johns [liquid cooled garment]) that we wore under our space suits on eva. So I was really interested that

it worked. We got it fixed real quickly. But just as I closed the hatch as we were leaving, the other loop failed. They asked if I wanted to go back in to fix it. I asked, ‘Why?’

“After we got in the Command Module, we went through a long series of involved procedures. We were almost euphoric all during this period. Of course, we did a fly-around, and I took about seventy-five pictures of Sky – lab as we went around for the last time.”

“When we undocked and made one trip around Skylab to photograph its condition,” said Gibson, “it was obvious that the sun’s ultraviolet light had greatly discolored all surfaces. What was white preflight was now tan. Even the white sunshade sail erected by the second crew had turned a gold­en tan with one notable exception. As we maneuvered over the surface that faced toward the sun, both sunshades rippled and waved in the gas stream from our reaction control thrusters. The sail erected by the second crew still displayed the creases from when it had been tightly folded in its stow­age container before Jack and Owen pulled it out and hoisted it up the twin pole supports. Jack had done a great job of unsticking and unfolding the sail, an unanticipated chore, except for one fold that now opened up under the wind gust of our thrusters. Like light from a cracked door, the material inside the fold beamed back a stark white in contrast to its surroundings, a feature readily apparent in pictures today.”

“Pretty soon after we separated,” recalled Bill Pogue, “we could see Skylab going away. After we did the first deorbit burn, which brought us down to about 125 miles, I remember thinking that, after looking at the Earth from 270 miles for several months, it was almost like hedgehopping at 125 miles where you perceive the ground going by a lot faster.

“Almost everything worked out quite well except that we did have a prob­lem with the reaction control system in the Command Module. One of our two rings [sets of attitude control jets] system had already lost pressure and had to be deactivated. The official record says that they told us to put on oxygen masks at this point, but we never heard the transmission so we nev­er had them on.

“The problem came after we had separated from the Service Module. I looked over at Jerry as he was moving the hand controller to get the right entry attitude, which we absolutely had to be at for reentry to avoid landing in the wrong location or being cremated before our time, and nothing was happening! I yelled, ‘Go direct.’ Direct is a mode that is entered by going to the hard stops on the hand controller, which bypasses all the black boxes and puts the juice directly to the solenoids controlling the propellants in the reaction control jets. It worked. We got close to the right entry attitude and threw it into autopilot, which steered us during reentry. No problem.

“When we got down on the deck, we were hoisted aboard the aircraft carrier, and everybody was in pretty good shape. We later found out that Jerry had inadvertently pulled all of the circuit breakers to the Command Module reaction control thrusters instead of those for the Service Module, which were to be unpowered to prevent arcing when the guillotine cut all those wires between the modules before they were separated. The Command Module breakers were right above those for the Service Module. Since Jerry was floating a little higher in zero gravity than in the simulations on Earth three months before and it was dark, it was an easy mistake to make. Human factors should dictate that you don’t put these sets of breakers adjacent to one another if you require that kind of a time-critical safety-of-flight pro­cedure. He just pulled the wrong ones, which was a real easy error to make. But it turned out fine. That was our biggest excitement during reentry: Jer­ry moved that hand controller and nothing happened.”

“At first,” Ed Gibson said, “reentry was like living inside a purple neon tube whose brightness gradually increased when we began colliding with air molecules in the upper atmosphere at mach 25. About the time we got the.05-G light [reached a deceleration of one-twentieth of gravity], I felt myself start to tumble but in no specific direction. ‘Strange,’ I thought, but then my vestibular system hadn’t felt any linear acceleration for eighty-four days, and my brain was trying to figure out how to interpret these faint murmurs coming from my inner ears. As the Gs increased, this feeling of tumbling was replaced by the strong sensation of deceleration that eventually hit over four Gs. The violet glow had progressed to a white-hot flame, the Gs and tur­bulence continued to build, and it was now more like living inside a vibrat­ing blast furnace. The flames from the heat shield streamed by my window and out behind us. Sitting in the center seat, I could watch the roll thrust­ers fire as the computer rolled the spacecraft to bring us down precisely on target, exactly three miles from the uss New Orleans, the aircraft carrier that waited to pick us up.

“Eventually, the light and turbulence subsided, a firm explosion above our heads told us the nose-cone ring had departed, and small drogue chutes streamed out to stabilize us. At ten thousand feet the drogues also departed, and the mains appeared. At first they were held partially closed or reefed, and then they billowed out to three good fully deployed chutes, which we were all happy to see. But I felt confused. Once on the mains we were obvi­ously pulling only one G. But then why did it feel like we were still pulling three Gs?

“We splashed down onto a calm sea with no wind. However, we still ended up in what NASA called Stable 2. Translated that means that we were hanging upside-down in the straps, bobbing up and down on the water in a closed damp cabin with the heat of reentry soaking back in—for me the most uncomfortable part of the whole flight or recovery!

“Before we got the balloons inflated that would right us, my mind flashed back to our training when we practiced what we would do if we remained in Stable 2 and had to exit the spacecraft by ourselves. We did the training in a Command Module mockup, very much like the real one, in a water tank in Houston. A lightning and thunderstorm was in full bloom as we began the exercise.

“As we got out of our straps, prepared to dive down into the tunnel to open the hatch, continue further down and out the tunnel, and swim to the surface, we noticed that the mockup was actually sinking! A relief valve had not closed properly and water was pouring into our habitable volume. No longer was this a casual training exercise; this was for real. With very little breathing air left, the last of us made it out and to the surface, using a pro­cedure we had never practiced before. The technicians outside had a crane that they could have used to pull the spacecraft out of the water—except that its use was not allowed when there was lightning in the area.

“I looked around our Command Module for signs of water. There were none. The bags inflated, we popped over to Stable i, and we gained access to the warm ocean air outside.

“We felt elated. We knew we had gone through an ordeal on this mis­sion yet made many major accomplishments that contributed to the space effort. It was a mission of which we would always be proud perhaps even more so because we had worked through some early and very difficult situ­ations before we turned it around and reached full stride.

“Nothing was left but medical tests, speeches, and a return to our fami­lies. Smiles were frozen onto our faces.

“Outside helicopters were hovering as frogmen jumped into the water and connected floatation devices and attachments to haul our Command Module aboard the deck of the uss New Orleans (lph-ii), an Iwo Jima—class amphibious assault ship (helicopter). It was clear these folks really knew what they were doing, since they had previously completed several Apol­lo recoveries.”

The uss New Orleans had been commissioned on 16 November 1968, exact­ly five years before the launch of the Skylab ill crew and wouldn’t be decom­missioned until і October 1997. In addition to supporting real space missions, it also supported the filming of Apollo 13, the movie. It could accommodate twenty-five helicopters on its 592-foot-long deck and reach the scene of the recovery at a speed of twenty-five knots. It was the third of four ships in the U. S. Navy to proudly bear the name of uss New Orleans; the fourth ship, a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, was launched in 2004 and is still in service today.

Gibson continued, “Once back on the carrier deck, a part of me was depressed. No matter how hard I pushed off, I could no longer float. And no matter where I went, I was painfully aware that once again I had to haul along massive amounts of meat and bone. Later rolling over at night became a real engineering challenge. But the exercises that we did during our easy, lazy days of zero gravity, paid off. Unlike some other crews and after months in space, we could walk as soon as we landed and suffered no lasting effects.

“Yet even with the G-suit squeezing my legs and the switch on forehead thrown to one-G, I felt just a bit wobbly. We were all glad we had those G-suits because climbing out of the spacecraft, crumpling into a ball, and rolling off the platform into the crowd would not have been good public relations. After about two hours I could maneuver pretty well but with my feet spread wide apart. I suffered no nausea just as I hadn’t when entering zero gravity. Training, hard work, or fortitude had nothing to do with it—I was just lucky.

“After about two days, I could walk without any noticeable difference from my preflight gait, but it took about two weeks to hit my preflight per­formance in the balance tests.

“There was another disappointment to deal with when we came back. Without gravity in flight, each of our vertebrae had expanded a bit, and we each became about two inches taller. What a great deal! But our new height was short-lived as soon as gravity got us back into its clutches again.

“Upon return to Ellington Field in Houston, we had to stand on a plat­form for almost an hour trying to say something historic. The wobbly legs returned, and I again feared tumbling off the platform into the crowd. But the legs held and the wobble abated.

“Then I did a dumb thing. About four days after landing, I felt better than I thought I might, so I figured I ought to stop lollygagging around and get back to my standard exercise, a relaxed five-mile run. Wrong thing to do! Muscles and joints that had little stress on them for three months screamed their pain at me for the next two weeks.

“At least in addition to our pride and personal satisfaction, we were hand­somely compensated by NASA. After all, we had traveled thirty-five million miles. Each and every day we received a government travel allowance, which because our meals, quarters, and transportation were government provided, came up to $2.38. Over our eighty-four-day flight, that came up to a whop­ping $ 199.92 for each one of us!”

There was great rejoicing when Skylab ill — and the whole Skylab pro­gram —ended in success. A lot of tired people got to know their families again. And the participants busied themselves with documenting their les­sons learned for the future, hoping that the future would soon include a per­manent space station.

Skylab had clearly demonstrated the value of human intelligence applied in a hands-on way onboard the nation’s first space station. It had also shown that humans retain all their abilities and needs even when they are several hundred miles up. Proper work scheduling, positive motivation, and mean­ingful communication are just as essential in flight as they on the ground, if not even more so.

Those directly involved began to reflect on what had been accomplished and contemplate our future in space. “But shoot,” said Pogue, “talk about something that was successful, Skylab was highly successful! It was our first space station and focused attention on long-term reliability of systems and proper integration and support of the crews. Apollo flights lasted eight days or ten days. That’s one thing. But when you stay up there for months, your systems and crews are going to see a much greater exposure to all the problems that are waiting for you in zero gravity and the space environment. Now we see how difficult it will be to design reliable systems and support crews for something as long as a Mars mission, which is nominally about two to three years.”

Ed Gibson said, “It was a great sense of accomplishment; we had met all our mission objectives, averaged as many accomplishments per unit time as previous crews, despite our slow start, and had set a world record for time in space. But in only a few short years the Russians eclipsed our mark.

“However, our mission did set an American record that lasted for twen­ty-one years. Actually we expected and wanted to have our American record broken within four to six years—on an American station! But that was not to be. Norm Thagard, a very capable guy, broke our endurance record, but he did it on the Russian Mir space station.

“We all recognize Skylab was the beneficiary of the program that came before it: Apollo. Skylab itself was constructed in large part with hardware that became available when the last three missions to the moon were can­celed. Unlike today it was launched all in one shot using the Saturn v, which was the greatest rocket system the United States has ever developed. It could put 250,000 pounds into low Earth orbit, about seven times what the Shuttle can do today. It launched many flights in the early years and got the whole space program off to a fast start including Skylab.

“My own view of this fast start began back in 1957, when I, my parents, and Julie, my girlfriend then and wife now, stood out in the backyard of our home in Kenmore, which is just north of Buffalo. We watched man­kind’s first satellite go over, the Soviet Sputnik. Back then, I’d never heard the word astronaut. But just fifteen years later, my parents stood out in the same backyard and watched me go over.

“But the rapid pace and success of the early years was not because of hardware alone; people and leadership made it happen. We in the astro­naut office closely experienced one of the very best: Deke Slayton. He was one of the Original Seven astronauts but was medically grounded before he could fly. Rather than quit, he was driven to contribute wherever he could, and he was appointed the head of Flight Crew Operations, which included the challenge of keeping over forty headstrong astronauts under control, a daunting task. But he was tough and very mission focused. If you were also there, like him, to advance the mission, he gave you his full support. If you

were to advance yourself, he’d rip out the flamethrower and turn you to a crisp in nothing flat. He was the right guy for the job.

“In Deke’s demands for an overwhelming focus on the mission, which he applied unselfishly to himself as well, he was tough but fair, harsh but kind, someone I respected, trusted, liked, and feared all at the same time. I’ve seen many leaders in my career, some very sophisticated, but I regard Deke as one of the best I’ve ever encountered. He and many others like him made Apollo and Skylab happen. To the cheers of everyone around him, Deke finally did get to fly on Apollo-Soyuz, the joint U. S.—Russian mis­sion after Skylab.

“Future space stations will have a hard time matching Skylab’s high scien­tific accomplishments for its relatively low cost. Based on Skylab, we should expect that future stations will discover new materials of engineering and biological importance, as well as new knowledge of how our bodies func­tion without gravity, important for better understanding how they function right down here on Earth, as well as on future long-term missions far from Earth. But with the more complex systems that must last for many years, not just months, we would expect that proper manning of a station should reach at least six crewpersons, preferably seven or eight, to keep the station in full operation, properly perform really top-notch science and technolo­gy experiments, and realize the real potential of a space station. There is no good reason that we cannot perform Nobel Prize-quality science up there, just as we do down here!

“In the long run, despite tragedies and budget droughts the prospects for America in space remain bright. Most important, we have within our peo­ple, still, a spirit and will that wants nothing more than ever-deeper explo­rations of space, and its profitable use. We have physical facilities in America second to none. And charging in the front door, we have our youth, equal­ly motivated and far better trained than those young engineers who took us to the moon and into Skylab. Lastly, we have our graybeards, engineers and managers with the knowledge and wisdom from decades of experience.

“Certainly, in time, we will complete and properly staff the Internation­al Space Station, return to the moon, land on Mars, and eventually explore the rest of our solar system. But beyond that? In the back of my mind I spec­ulated when I was on Earth’s dark side during evas. The stars were clear, steady, and not a twinkle to be seen in any of them. A dense hemisphere of

stars swelled into existence as my eyes got dark-adapted. There’s got to be life out there!

“As we find more and better ways to visualize planets around other stars, we just might visualize a blue planet, one with an oxygen atmosphere. Then the pull would be irresistible. We’d have a crash program for near-light-speed flight, then a mission that’d fire our imagination far more than any fantasy from Star Trek. But we all understand that the distances are immense. On our Skylab flight, we traveled thirty-five million miles, which is the distance that light goes in just three minutes. Yet it takes light over four years just to reach our closest neighboring star. Clearly when it comes to deep space travel, we’ve just barely put a few layers of skin on our big toe out the front door.

“But it’s also clear that we’re on the front end of something much larger than any of us can imagine, travels and adventures far greater than anything we can now picture. And it’s also clear that we’ll never stop exploring, nev­er stop reaching outward—it’s hard-wired into our psyche. I believe that if you scratch deep enough into the tough hide of even the most cynical, hard – boiled, space engineer, like a few of those you’ve encountered in this book, lurking at their core you’ll find a Trekkie; that’s someone who realizes that space probes and all their data are interesting, often exciting, but ultimate­ly, it’s we who have to go there, in person, to see and feel new turf up close before it truly becomes a real part of our own world.

“One day, certainly in the long-term, driven by the human spirit, we will travel in vehicles that are derivatives of Skylab and subsequent space stations out to the rest of our solar system and, eventually, beyond.”

Perspectives on the Legacy

Alan Bean, for whom life on Skylab was a follow-up to his experience of walking on the moon, said that the station was a vital step in the history of manned spaceflight. “My impression of it was that it was the best possi­ble investment of NASA money,” he said. “It’s so much more valuable than sending one other mission to the moon, which they could have done with that Saturn v.

“It was so much more valuable, I felt, as far as understanding the future of spaceflight and taking the next step. Taking another step on the moon would have been nice, but it wasn’t going to do much different. Different rocks, nothing new particularly. And so we made a breakthrough on another branch of spaceflight, and started out in a way that gave us a foundation.” In retrospect it’s easy to forget how many unknown factors the Skylab crews dealt with, how many things astronauts today are able to take for grant­ed because the Skylab crews proved that they could be done. “My biggest concern before we flew Skylab, or anybody flew Skylab, was, at the end of twenty-eight days, and then at the end of fifty-six days, would we be strong enough to go outside and recover the film and do the work in our space suits? Now it seems like a dumb idea. But I can remember thinking that is one of the real huge hurdles that I wondered if we’d be able to do. As it turned out to be, we stayed just as strong as we were at the beginning.”

Bean said that he regrets the extent to which some of the knowledge gained on Skylab was lost during the decades before the United States once again became involved in long-duration spaceflight. While on orbit, he said, the crewmembers spent time each week answering habitability questions about life on Skylab—everything from how well the equipment worked to what they thought of the colors in the workshop. Their answers were recorded on tape, dumped to the ground, and then written up. “We talked about every­thing you could think of,” Bean said. He said that, in talking to members of the astronaut corps about the International Space Station project, he’s found that the habitability reports produced based on the experiences of the Skylab crews have gone largely unread.

Bob Crippen agreed: “The one thing that I really worried about was—we did it, then we let it sit up there until it was falling out of the sky, and now we’re starting to finally get a space station up there again.” Crippen said that the time gap between Skylab and the first International Space Station crew was very disappointing to him. “I thought we learned a lot of lessons, and it wasn’t obvious when you get that big of a gap that you can transfer a lot of knowledge. That’s the only disappointment that I felt.” (It is worth noting that this is not due to a lack of trying on the part of the Skylab astronauts, many ofwhom were involved in the planning for the later space station pro­grams either while still at NASA or as contractors.)

Overall, Crippen said that he was very proud to have been involved in the program. Learning of the problem with the micrometeoroid shield at launch, he said, was one of the lowest points of his career, and the recovery from that disaster amazed him. “I thought we’d lose the entire mission right there when that happened. The way the team worked to pull off getting the thing back flying again I thought was fantastic.” The can-do attitude that began the program, he noted, continued throughout with the work that was done during the mission on such things as changing out the gyros.

“The Russians were over here about that time, and they were impressed at how we could do on-orbit repairs, some of those kinds of things,” Crip­pen said. “In fact, we took some of those lessons into Space Shuttle, that we needed the capability to do in-flight maintenance on things we didn’t even know we were going to have to work on. So I thought it was a great program. I think everybody that participated in it will tell you that.”

For Bob Schwinghamer also, the effort to save Skylab after its disastrous launch was a defining moment. “I mean, that enormous recovery effort, and the ability to pull that off— in retrospect, you just wonder how people were able to do that in the short time that they did,” he said. “And then the astronauts did their thing. It was something you can remember with pride, everybody that had anything to do with it. It was an uplifting experience.”

The program, Schwinghamer said, lived up to its expectations. “I think it more than did.”

That sentiment was echoed by George Hardy: “I think Skylab was in some ways, without question, the best space program this country has ever had. Now there are some space programs that had maybe higher, greater technical challenges, but I guess if you were to characterize it as ‘bang for the buck,’ I don’t think there’s been a program that’s gotten the bang for the buck that Skylab got.”

Hardy, who went on to be involved in the space station program, also said that he has been disappointed with NASA’s failure to fully capitalize on the lessons learned during Skylab when moving forward. While he noted that many parts of the Skylab experience—such as the lessons learned about crew and ground operations for a long-term program—informally influenced later programs, lessons of other parts of that experience have been largely lost.

“I don’t think there was a formal, structured program for carrying ‘les­sons learned’ from Skylab into space station,” he said. “I don’t know exact­ly why that was. I think for the most part a lot of people working on space station thought to themselves that space station would be so far advanced from Skylab that there wouldn’t be any useful lessons to be learned. And that was a big mistake.”

George Mueller was even harsher in his views on the subject. He was very proud of the accomplishments of Skylab—“I thought it was great”—and very disappointed with what he saw as NASA failing to learn the lessons of that program in the space station project. “The design of the station really did not take advantage of what we learned on Skylab,” he said. “That was my impression the first time I walked through that mock-up; I thought, ‘We haven’t really learned anything.’”

In particular, he said, the decision not to use a heavy lift vehicle, which would have allowed large volumes to be launched into orbit, was a major limitation in the space station program. “Volume is tremendously impor­tant in living conditions,” Mueller said. “Engineers want to build everything into little boxes, but if you’re going to live in it, you’d like to have some dis­tance, you’d like to have some privacy, and you’d like to have some things that are pleasing to look at.”

Jack Lousma said that he also is proud of the groundwork that Skylab laid for the future of spaceflight. “I think we demonstrated that you could live and work in space for a long time and do a good job,” he said. “One of the most important legacies was the demonstration of long-duration flight, demonstrating that not only could you survive up there but you could do useful things, that you could work up there like you would in any laborato­ry back home. We demonstrated that we could do zero-gravity spacewalks. It gave us the confidence to go on to longer missions, having a sense that if you stayed there a year, you’d still be ok.”

Where Are They Now?

Alan Bean

After resigning from nasa in 1981, Bean devoted himself full-time to his painting. He has found a devoted audience for his work, which is based on his experiences as an astronaut on the moon.

Bo Bobko

Bobko flew on his first space mission in 1983 as the pilot of sts-6, the first flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger, seventeen years after he was first select­ed as an astronaut by the Air Force. Bobko also went on to command mis­sions of his own, Shuttle flights 51-D and 51-j, both in 1985. Bobko left NASA in 1988 to work as an aerospace contractor.

Vance Brand

Despite missing out on the Skylab rescue mission, Brand would fly into space four times—on the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project and as commander of the sts – 4, 41-B and STS-35 Space Shuttle missions. After the retirement of John Young in 2004, Brand became the senior member of the astronaut corps still work­ing at NASA, serving as the deputy director for Aerospace Projects at Dryden Flight Research Center until his own retirement in 2008.

Jerry Carr

After leaving NASA in 1977, Carr was heavily involved as a contractor in pro­viding consulting input for the development of the International Space Sta­tion. He founded camus, a family owned business that combines his con­sulting with wife Pat Musick’s art and sculpture.

Pete Conrad

After leaving NASA months after his Skylab experience in 1973, Conrad remained involved in aeronautics and space exploration until his death in 1999 as a result of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.

Perspectives on the Legacy

49- At the Skylab Thirtieth Reunion (from left): Alan Bean, Jerry Carr, Joe Kerwin, Owen Garriott, Bill Pogue, Paul Weitz, Jack Lousma, and Ed Gibson.

Bob Crippen

Crippen, who served as director of Kennedy Space Center before leaving NASA in 1995, was awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 2006 in recognition of his role as pilot of sts-i, the first Space Shuttle mission. In addition to serving as pilot of that mission, Crippen commanded the STS-7 and 41c and 41G Shuttle missions.

Owen Garriott

After flying into space one more time on the STS-9 Spacelab mission of the Space Shuttle, Garriott resigned from NASA in 1986 and is now an adjunct professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He spends additional time in charitable activities and as a founder of two new businesses.

Ed Gibson

In addition to working with aerospace contractors after leaving NASA in 1974, Gibson also authored two novels, Reach and In the Wrong Hands. He recently retired as senior vice president and contract manager with Science Applications International Corporation.

Joe Kerwin

Kerwin served as the NASA representative in Australia in 1982 and 1983, then as director of Space and Life Sciences at jsc from 1984 to 1987. He worked

for Lockheed from 1987 to 1996 and finished his career as senior vice presi­dent with Wyle Laboratories, retiring in 2004.

Chris Kraft

Per Kraft: “Chris Kraft is now retired and trying to stay compos mentis. He is very proud of his part in the early days of manned spaceflight and espe­cially the Space Shuttle, which has been unfairly maligned by the media, NASA and other ill-informed engineers and scientists.”

Chuck Lewis (msfc)

After Skylab, Lewis spent a few years in the propulsion division, working on the srb booster separation motors among other things. He then worked in crew training and interface for Spacelab missions. At retirement in 1996, he was Chief of the Mission Training Division at msfc, where he had the plea­sure of watching young engineers continue to support the flight crew with great training and man-systems design for the remaining Spacelab flights and well into the iss era.

Jack Lousma

Lousma made one more spaceflight after Skylab, as commander of Colum­bia’s STS-3 mission, the third Space Shuttle flight, in March 1982. He resigned from NASA in 1983. In 1984 he won the Republican primary for one of Michi­gan’s seats in the U. S. Senate but was defeated by the incumbent in the gen­eral election. Since that time, he has been involved in several technology – related businesses and still lives in Michigan with his wife Gratia.

George Mueller

Mueller continues to be involved in the advancement of space transpor­tation, actively pursuing the fundamental physical requirement for a via­ble space society: a completely reusable space vehicle capable of delivering tons of payload to low Earth orbit at a cost of dollars per pound, a goal he describes as well within our reach.

Bill Pogue

After leaving NASA, Pogue turned his attention to the next generation of space stations, serving as a consultant for what became the International Space Station, and to the next generation of explorers, making spaceflight accessible through his books How Do You Go to the Bathroom in Space and Space Trivia.

Don Puddy

Puddy served as a Shuttle flight director and as the lead flight director on the Shuttle approach and landing tests. He subsequently served as a special assistant to the NASA administrator, as the deputy director of the Dryden Research Center, and as the director of Flight Crew Operations at jsc. After retirement he succumbed to cancer.

Rusty Schweickart

Schweickart left NASA in 1977 to join the staff of Gov. Jerry Brown of Cali­fornia. He served as commissioner of energy in California for nearly six years then as a senior executive in several space and telecommunications com­panies. He now chairs the board of the B612 Foundation, which champi­ons plans to protect the earth from asteroid impacts. He is the founder and past president of the Association of Space Explorers, the international pro­fessional society of astronauts and cosmonauts.

Bob Schwinghamer

Schwinghamer retired from Marshall as assistant director, technical in Jan­uary 1999. Since that time he has consulted for NASA on the Shuttle Colum­bia accident and also on the successful “return to flight” of the Space Shut­tle. He still resides in Huntsville.

Phil Shaffer

After Skylab Shaffer served as a principal interface between jsc’s flight oper­ations organizations and Rockwell International for establishing operations requirements for the Space Shuttle. In the early 1980s after leaving NASA, he served as a consultant supporting several of the NASA contractors supporting the Shuttle and the Space Station. Phil Shaffer died in June 2007.

Jim Splawn

As a director of marketing and business development for Boeing, Splawn is responsible for acquiring new business through advanced technology appli­cations for the Department of Defense. These technologies may be used in either an offense or defense weapon mode, including missiles. Applica­tions include military operations, both local and foreign, and Homeland Security.

J. R. Thompson

Before leaving NASA, Thompson served as deputy administrator at NASA headquarters and as director of Marshall Space Flight Center. Today he serves as vice chairman, president, and chief operating officer of Orbital Sciences.

Bill Thornton

Scientist astronaut Bill Thornton waited sixteen years after his selection by NASA before he first flew on sts-8 in 1983. The mission further explored human adaptation to the microgravity environment, with much of the research being performed with equipment he had designed. Thornton flew once more, on the Spacelab-3 51-B mission in 1985, on which he was responsible for medical investigations. He left NASA in 1994 and returned to academia at the Univer­sity of Texas Medical Branch and the University of Houston, Clear Lake.

Paul Weitz

Weitz commanded the sixth Shuttle mission in 1983. He served as deputy chief of the astronaut office until 1986, then was appointed deputy director of the Johnson Space Center. He retired from NASA in 1994 and moved to Flagstaff, Arizona, where he says he “took up birding, fly fishing, and loaf­ing, in reverse order.”

Nine men were fortunate to live the Skylab experience, and their names will forever be recorded as NASA’s first to truly live and work in space.

But while the names of those nine are the best known of the Skylab pro­gram, their voyages were made possible by thousands of men and women who helped establish an outpost on the frontier of space.

“Their legacy is that it is possible for humans to live and work in space for extended periods—but only with a terrific ‘Home Earth’ team to sup­port them,” Joe Kerwin said. “We, the homesteaders, thank them for their gifts of problem solving, support, and cooperation.

“It was fun to learn how to fly.”


Alan Bean’s In-Flight Diary


Perspectives on the Legacy

The following is the complete text of the diary that Skylab II commander Alan Bean kept during his time on the space station. It is presented unex­purgated and largely unmodified, with the primary exception of format­ting. Bean’s handwriting does not differentiate between capital and lower­case letters, and the diary included minimal use of punctuation. For the sake of readability, those issues have been addressed.

Bean numbered the entry with the day of the year on which it was writ­ten, so the first entry, 209, for example, refers to the 209th day of the year, 28 July 1973.


Launch Day

(I am writing this early in the morning of day 10—Could not sleep, eva today, so thought I might catch up.)

Slept well early tonight, took Seconal and hit the bed about 7 p. m., so did Jack and Owen.

Don Lind had come around to pick up my things, brief case, clothes, gifts to take back to Houston—some to Sue and some to home—Some are in the isolation trailer in Houston which will stay locked up till we get back.

Awakened on time by Al Shepard. He and Deke kept track of us the last few weeks more than usual. This has mixed blessings.

Early morning urination in bottle and weighing in gym—seemed strange to see Paul Buchanan, Edward & Dee standing in the gym waiting. First there was the microbiological samples. Then physical—Then eat—We wore white terry cloth robes.

No traditional sour balls for the launch crew. Looking back now, may­be we should have.

Al Shepard rode in van as far as the Launch Control Center. I watched him because he held the rdz book—when he got up to get off, he forgot he had it and I had to ask. On the way he told us he was the last minute back up—he then mentioned Glenn having his suit at the suit room prior to Al’s first flight.

4, 3 (engine noise and damn the machine starts to shake), 2, 1, more and more violent shaking—it seems to want to go like a car spinning its wheels

о—God, and you feel it pull away from the launch site—vibration, rough jerking, much much feeling of an unleashed power house wanting to go sky­ward —almost the same feel in reverse when you step off the high diving board—You can hear and feel the beast start to accelerate. Jack and Owen are spellbound, so am I for that matter. Lift off, tower clear, whew, that’s a big one, roll & pitch program. I call—my voice sounds ok, don’t sound too nervous, that’s good —Jack and Owen ok.


Slept in the ows sleep compartments last night—Place not fully activated but better than csm. Slept pretty good because I was so tired, and sorta sick to my stomach. Owen looked so-so but Jack looked real bad.

Stuffed up head feeling present and will probably be with us the rest of the flight—Nose gets lots of buggers in it & when I blow it it expels blood. Dry climates like Denver do the same.

May have had the straps too tight on the bunk last night.

Breakfast in csm, no water yet in the workshop—Not a pleasant get together—Nobody wanted to eat but knew we had to. No one wanted to think of the things we had to do today— I was behind with stowage, put­ting the rate gyros together (a last minute add on) and trouble shooting the condensate leak. In fact spent most of today responding to ground request for troubleshooting the leak—seemed disorganized—kept doing things too fast, causing delays, lost 50% of my time today for things I should not have let loose.


We are farting a lot but not belching much —Joe Kerwin said we would have to learn to handle lots of gas.

Got to stop responding to ground so fast and just dropping what I am doing—causes us to run behind on the time line. Do not know just what to do about this.

I am feeling good in the morning and between meals. Meals themselves tough to get through.

Still losing a lot of things, too big a hurry. Wish the flight planners would let up. The time taken to trouble shoot the condensate system shoots the whole timeline. Got to stay on schedule.

Floated too much at a work station—wish my triangle shoes were adjust­ed correctly.

Guess we had the failure. Because except for a stuck thruster it’s about the worst we can expect — We handled it well but not perfectly.


Jack was taking a cooked fecal out of the dryer—laughing—well, here is a real nice ripe one, I said, bet you are a good pitza cook. No, said Jack, pancakes.

We had too many fecals and vomitus to cook—

(Look at down voice and we can see what we did each day in ref. to Flt Plan.)


Without triangle shoes you can get a free return to our early ancestors; namely holding and swinging feet, legs, arms and wedging feet and arms, feet and butt or feet and back to hold position, you get good at it where you do not have to pick out specific place for each limb or which technique to use, but it comes naturally.

All were in extremely high spirits today, first day we all feel good.

Discuss location of items in particular pockets—left lower leg, trash.

Owen said that today we ought to ask for a reduction in our insurance rates because we were no longer running the risk of drowning or auto accident.


Left sal vent open last night after water dump. Thought I was so good at it, did not use check list—fooled because this was first night without exper­iment in SAL.

Wonder what happens when we cross the international date line multiple times a day. Well, no matter.

Saw Cape of Good Hope.

Owen let Arabella out of the vial. She had been in there since____ days

prior to launch. She had not come out so Owen got the vial off the cage, opened the door, shook her out where she immediately bounced back and forth, front to back, four or five times, then locked onto screen panels at the box edge provided for visualization—there she sits clutching the screen. Owen and I talked of giving spider food because she has not moved one half day. Owen said “no” because when she gets hungry is when she spins her web. (More description.) She can live two-three weeks without if she has too.

First back-to-back erep. Jack vts sites Lake Michigan. But got Baltimore instead. Or Washington, his prime site.

Saw what we thought was a salt flat but turned out to be a glacier in Chile. We could see Cape Horn — Cape Horn and Good Hope all in one day, fantastic.

Owen wanted to know if we had tried to urinate upside in the head. He said it psychological tough. Jack said he tried it and he peed right in his eye.

Diving thru workshop different than in water—here the speed that you move (translate) is controlled entirely by your push off so for some spins you can have a D, і Уг, 2 У2, 3 У2, etc. Difficult to push off straight and to get speeds you want. You must watch your progress as you spin—it’s tough to learn but to keep from hitting objects, it’s a must.

It was a great day — first back to back erep and it came off perfect. Jack and Owen good spirits for eva tomorrow—we worked all afternoon and evening on prep, much more fun than on Earth in ig.

Owen worked 22 hours today because he counted his sleep cap time. Talk­ed with Sue over Guam tonight. She asked about rdz from Dave Scott. He said і quad out at so some skill required—he is going to Flight Research Center, great! Every day is filled with memorable experiences—sites, sounds, emotions, hope, fear, courage, friendship. I just wish we could go home to our wives at night.

My urine volume lower than Owen and Jack. Been drinking a lot but must do better. Been concentrating on eating too much. Owen said meals were the high point of a day on Earth and here too. Only difference is there it’s the start, up here it’s when you finish. I got ahead today with a snack dur­ing erep, don’t ever fall behind.

I cut a hole in the bottom of my sleeping bag near the feet—too hot, had to tie a knot to keep from freezing in the early morning.

Heard about leak in am primary and secondary cooling loop. Pri should last 17 days and secondary 60 days. Wonder what ingenious fix they will come up with.

No csm master alarm today.

Almost a no mistake day. But just prior to sleep Crip calls and ask we turn the ess (medical) off. I had just ridden the bike.


eva day. I had a tough time sleeping. ok for first 6 hours or so then off and on—finally writing at normal wake up time, iiooz (0600 Houston) because they let us sleep late. Bed is great. I am going to patent it when I get home. The bungee straps and netting for the head and the pillows were my idea. Might come in use someday because no other simple way to make og feel like Earth.

Jack sleeps next to me then Owen at end—the reason, his sleep cap equip­ment fits better.

Funny how good we feel now, I think we all would have said “to hell with this, let’s go home.” I—we were not old enough to know time would pass and we would feel better. No one ever said it in words but that was the way we all looked at each other around day 2 and 3.

Sleeping is different here because the “bed clothes” do not tend to rest or touch your body. This causes large air spaces about your body, that your body heat just doesn’t heat. It’s difficult to snuggle down. Have to put under­shirts (long) and t-shirt on during the night. I cut feet out of the long han­dles then use them for pajamas. Also I mod’ed my bed by cutting a hole in the netting near the feet, too cold at night so close it up with a knot.

Little worried, Funny—Owen’s pcu is #013 and his umbilical is #13. I’m not superstitious, but. . .

Started taking food pill supplements today. Kit is junkeys paradise.

Jack discovered new way to shake urine to minimize bubbles. I called ground and said, “we even have our professionals—Owen atm checkout, me condensate dump, Jack urine shaking.”

eva thoughts

Owen was having trouble with the twin poles—the elastic was tight at either end of the pole plate and as he pulled the poles out the rubber grommet locking the lock nut would tend to roll off. We had not pulled out any poles at the pre check last night because we were afraid too, we might break the elastic. We could not even break it today as Owen tried. He used his head and stopped—thought of a new approach, right foot out of foot restraint to pull pole the right end and left out to take the poles.

We are going to have the twin pole sail configuration on our medallion when we get back.

Watching out the STS window as Jack worked in the dark; I could not look at him in the light as he was too close to the sun, it was fantastic to see the sunrise. It began as a light blue band which grew with a fine yellow rim near the Earth’s limb—the blue gets larger then.

The line with the gentle curvature of the Earth and the fact it became dimmer as you looked off to either side of the sun’s future position.

Just before sun up you could see dim flashes of light toward the horizon where thunderstorms were playing. This pin pointed the coming horizon

which was not discernable against the dark of the Earth from the lighted cabin.

Gold grows at last 15 sec to cover much of dark blue then bright orange and a bright glint as the sun. As it rises the Earth’s horizon moves slowly from head to toe on Jack as he is silhouetted against the blue line. It gives the feel­ing of going around a big planet, a big ball rather than just a disk moving from in front of the eye. The science fiction movie effect was fantastic.

Pole deploy was also difficult because line got tangled by 180 degrees—had to roll back the grommet and then unscrew the nut and remove it.

Poles nice and straight and not bobbing around—white tape at forward edge foil/nylon sail stuck together—did not want to unfold but Jack pulled it in and then out again as sun sets.

Jack said, being out on the sun end, was a little like Peter Pan—or that you were riding a big white horse—feet spread wide across the whole world—the Earth is visible on both sides, at the same times and you can see 360 degrees—riding backwards.

Jack kept teleprinter flight plan as he was going to bed. Owen ask why—Jack said “I want to keep the memorable and unique days”—I said “don’t lose your day off flight plan then.”


Passed the lbnp today for the first time. Think I was too far in it and squeeze around stomach cut off blood, will move saddle from 9 to 6.

Did a lot of flying about the workshop just before sleep tonight. Skill need­ed, but great relaxer. Wish Owen would move Arabella.

Arabella finished her web perfectly. When Owen told Jack at breakfast, Jack said “well that’s good, I like to see a spider do something at least once in a while.”


Lost our day 5 menu card today. Had to fake it at breakfast. I finally found it as I was looking in the toolbox for a Phillips head screw driver for the wardroom foot restraints. My green copy of Childhood’s End floated by. If you wait long enough, everything lost will float by. A dynamic envi­ronment no one can be stranded in center of a space because small air cur­rents have an effect.

Tried to fly (like swimming) last night. But air currents much more dominant.

Fire and rapid Delta p drill today. Owen needs them the most but hates them the worst. I try to stick with him and do this together, Jack goes alone—when I am distracted, Owen will be doing other things not drill related and I must get him back.

Slept better last night (upside down) because it was cooler from the twin boom sun shade.

Arabella ate her web last night and spun another perfect one.


Day off— we had mixed emotions. We were tired and needed rest yet our chance to do good work was almost one-fourth over. When each flight hour represents 13-14 Earth training hours then you can make worthwhile a lot of pre-flight effort with a little extra in flight effort. We did however do some atm and some SO19. We asked for extra plus housekeeping. Wipe, dry bio­cide wipe, the place is immaculate and not a predatory germ within miles, much less traveling at 18,000 mph.

Got a thrill today. Tried to put our a urine bag with the metal fine fil­ter for the head in it [the Trash Airlock] in addition to three urine bags. It would not eject. I tried to close the doors and breathed a real sigh of relief as it came closed. I removed the filter from the now shortened bag and tried again, this time it moved 1” or so then stuck. I tried gingerly to close the door but this time it would not. My heart was beating fast. Can this be happen­ing to us? I tried the ejection handle again, and no luck, the door was stuck. Finally the only way was to force it. I rapped it again and again at first no success, but finally a little at a time then she broke free. My heart still beat fast but maybe a lesson was learned. Why did they not build the lock as an inverted cone so whatever was in there could always be moved down the ever expanding diameter.

Owen did the spider TV three times. Once because he recorded it all on channel A, once because the TV select switch was in the atm and not ows position, the last time it was okay. He got behind and I did some of his house­keeping as he was still up when Jack and I were headed for bed. Jack said “Owen, do you have anything left I can help you with? ” Owen said “no.” But that’s the way Jack is. Noticed Jack uses aftershave on his crotch. Old Spice after shave and skin conditioner complete with a NASA part number.

Notice we do not seem to reflex to catch something when we drop it as we did the first few days. It’s enjoyable to just let a heavy object float nearby.


Jack replied to Hank Hartsfield, he felt real good today. Owen said, uh oh, Jack must be sick again. Go look for a full vomitus bag in his bunk room.

Had a PP02 low caution alarm—ground said, we can inhibit as it was erratic recently.

We moved our suits up to the mda getting them closer to the csm and out of the way for the maneuvering experiment later in the week—we moved three silent friends and stashed two at the front end of the mda and one under the atm foot support.

Almost screwed up erep pass today—put in switch command to go to ZLV then did not enter bias in the das. Time to get to attitude starts over which the das bias maneuver is entered and when have Hank reminded me from the ground I had not enter — I did—& immediately knew I should not have — Owen and Jack were up there in a minute to say I should not have. We ask the ground for a new maneuver time to still get there and they quickly gave us 18 minutes where I entered and turned out okay, although we were one minute late to local vertical attitude. This is where I believe all our training paid off— a foolish mistake but we caught it and recovered to make it go—got three sites and then could not get a volcano in because of the overcast clouds.

Owen called me up to the atm and then took my picture with this Pola­roid, out came a picture of a naked gal with big boobs. He took some oth­ers, turns out they were put there by Paul Patterson prior to launch. Owen said he said he was going to call Houston and going to tell Paul, but I said – careful, do not pique the curiosity of the newsmen because they will want to know what’s up and the world has a few little old ladies that do not want pin up pictures in a U. S. space station.

Owen was discouraged today—the experiment

Jack mentioned there was only one requirement for peeing in og, and that was keeping your pecker in the cup — Owen allowed, well, he found that he could minimize the urine drop at the end by being aware that the blad­der was near empty then really press and increase the stream’s speed, only a small drop remains.


Had a thriller, was writing in my book when caution tone then warning tone came on—Jack on toilet—Owen and I soared up and found cluster ATT

warning lt and Acs (attitude control system light) on. We looked at atm pan­el and found much tacs firing and x gyro single, y gyro okay, z gyro single. A quick look at the ATT power showed multiple tacs firings. Both Owen and I were excited, it had been some time since we practiced these failures, plus we are in a complicated rate gyro configuration—we both really were looking at all things at once—das commands, status words, RT gyro talk backs, momentum and cmg wheel position readouts. We elected to go ATT hold but tacs kept firing, so we then turned off the tacs, looked at each rate gyro and set the best of one set back on the line. We would have gone to the csm but with our quad problems that would be a last resort. No, we had to solve it right then. We put the rate gyros back into configuration then enabled tacs, then did a nominal momentum cage—this seemed to make the system happy—namely tacs quit firing. Owen and I had settled down by then and were solving the problem again and again to insure we have not forgotten any step. We came into daylight—were two degrees or so in x and Y off so went to S. I.—maneuvered too slow so we set in a five sec maneu­ver time and selected S. I. again—Houston came up and I gave them a brief rundown—Owen, never giving up atm time, started my run for me while I went down for dessert of peaches and ice cream.

erep passed today, Jack got four targets, we then had an erep cal pass taking specific data on the full moon—all three of us working well togeth­er, we have trained a long time for this chance and we want to make the most of it.

Jack made a suggestion to walk on the ceiling as the floor for a few min­utes —we did and in less than a minute it seemed like the floor although covered with lights, wiring runs and traps it seemed like a new place — clut­tered but nice—the bicycle hung overhead was different as was the ward­room table but many lockers and stowage spaces were much easier to see and reach—I might use this technique to advantage when hunting a miss­ing item or looking in a lower drawer.

Had to ask Capcom, Story Musgrave, to give us more work today and also tomorrow—we are getting in the swing—when you’re hot, you’re hot. We will have about 45 more days to do all the things we were trained to do for the last 2 У2—3 years—time is going fast and we must make the most use of it. Much of what we learned will have no application after Skylab—such as how to operate specific experiments, systems, where things are stored, experiment protocol, how to operate the atm, erep, etc.


Had bad experience today, sneezed while urinating—bad on Earth—disas­ter up here.

Did 10-15 minutes on dome lockers. Handsprings, dives, twists, can do things that no one on Earth can do—fantastic fun and I guess good lim­bering up exercises for riding the bike.

I went up and looked out of the mda windows that face the sun, but at night. What an incredible sight, a full moon, Paris, Luxembourg, Prague, Bern, Milan, Turin all visible and beautiful wheels of light and sweeping under the white crossed solar panel of the atm. Normally you cannot look out these windows because the sun glare, I could not watch Jack and Owen on their eva. Now we are in the Bay of Bengal. In just 16 minutes we swept over Europe and Eastern Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and finally over India. Too cloudy to see Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Sumatra and Java will be here soon. We repeat our ground track every 5 days but 5 days from now as we go over the same point of ground the local time there changes so that in 60 days we will have seen all points between 50N and 50s at 12 different times of the day and night. At least once we can watch Parisians (Paris residents) get­ting up having breakfast —

It’s not so much that we are 270 miles up in space that isolates us from the rest of the world it’s that we are going so fast. To come home we must most of all slow down, not too much or we would come in too steeply and aerodynamic forces would be too great. And not too shallow for the upper atmosphere is tenuous and might not slow you enough and you would enter off target and there is a lot of ocean.

Owen and I spent his first night in 17 days just looking out the window during a night pass. We came over France then down over Turkey, the Dar­danelles were visible, then he pointed out the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee—I said I had been as high as anyone on Earth and had been to the lowest point on Earth, the Dead Sea last year. Owen talked of the night air glow — the fine white layer about a pencils width along the surface of the Earth.

We had looked last night for Perseid meteor shower with them burning up below us. Did not see any doing SO19 — funny to hit the atmosphere and make a shooting star, they all flying past us—with no meteoroid shield any­more, hope we do not contact any one.

Flew 509 today, disappointing because took too long to go anywhere, just jumping and diving more fun—strange we did not realize that prior to flight during training. Kicked up much dust and items that we had not seen for weeks-M092 subject cue card showed up, thank God because we needed it.

Went to bed wondering if we would have a master caution warning with the rate gyros but maybe the computer patch for course gains will work—we can’t point as accurately but we should have less disagreement between gyros.

22 6

Fixed my sleeping bag today, safety pinned at two top blankets and took up slack in blankets—too much volume of air to warm at night. Have been waking chilly about i to 2 hours prior to 6 o’clock (normal wake up time) Houston time and having difficulty going back to sleep. Maybe this will help, sleeping upside down has helped, the cooler ows as a result of the twin pole sun shade deployment is perhaps the greatest contributor.

Normal morning sequence is wake up call from Houston, I get up fast, take down water gun reading, then put on shirt and shorts for weighing in the bmmd. Take book up and weigh while Jack gets teleprinter pads and Owen reads prd. I weigh, Owen weighs, then Jack. I fix breakfast after dressing, with Owen a little behind. Jack cleans up, shaves, does urine and fixes bag and sample for three of us, I finish eating as Jack comes in and I then clean, shave and sample urine, I’m off to work at first job as Owen goes to the waste compartment. Jack is eating and about 30 minutes later we all are at work.

A sudden realization hit me this afternoon—there is no more work for us to do—atm is about it. Except for more medical or more student experiments what a sad state of affairs with this space station up here and not enough work to do — with S020, T025, SO73 gone there just isn’t much left.

We could think up some good TV productions getting 5000 watt/min of exercise per day and that should be enough.

Boy oh boy have I been farting today. You must learn to handle much gas up here and I wondered if we would forget when we went home. Owen said can’t you just see Jack in his living room with all his family and friends around and he forgets.

Funny you want a flight so badly you work hard when you get it you can’t wait to launch but once you are in orbit you’re still thinking of entry. Doesn’t make sense when examined closely. We are on the world’s greatest adven­ture, experience, sight seeing and it’s that desire to get home before some­thing breaks mechanical thing do you know.

I am so glad that Owen and Jack and I are on the same crew. Our person­alities fit one another well—Jack always working, always positive, always happy—Owen always serious, well may be not always.

Owen looks funny lately as he has not trimmed his mustache hair. Shaved under his neck too well—our little windup shaver and the poor bathroom light being the problem. I don’t look too great either, my hair getting long, wonder if “O” or Jack will cut it on our day off.

Talking with Sue on phone vhe through Canary Islands and Madrid—she wanted me to call her in London and Zurich somehow and gave us the number. These calls are great, best entertainment—last one I had was on s-band and it was a bomb. Only talked last 3—4 min. Sue getting ready for school and for London trip. [?] in Las Vegas and in Los Angeles. Home sounds close but it’s still 6 weeks away. Lots of living to do till then, lots to see, lots to accomplish. Amy sounded sweet. I love her more than my heart can understand.

I look forward to Jack and Owen’s calls home too because it is a way of getting news without the censoring influence of open communication.

Took the crew pictures tonight—they will look like mug shots when we get home. Should have taken them earlier for a better comparison with lat­er in the flight.

Our tape recorders are great entertainment but continually need drive wheel cleaning. Like mine best when peddling the ergometer.

Owen got his ego bent last night. He had been commenting about weight loss, wanting more food, and salt—peanuts a favorite, Dr. Paul Buchanan called on his weekly conference and told Owen, Jack and I we’re doing okay but he needed to have a chat with him (Owen). Paul said, Owen we have been looking at your exercise data (over the last two days) and don’t think you are doing enough, maybe your heart isn’t in it—Owen about flipped because he takes great pride in his physical program, pound for pound he does more than Jack and I. He could hardly hold back, afterward he worked out till sweat was all over his body then called on the recorder to tell Paul and those other doctors the facts of the matter. Maddest I’ve seen him in months.


We have been trying to get the flt planning changed. I especially have had a lot of free time, Owen and Jack to a lesser degree. Jack keeps on the move all the time, so my suggestion of cutting down some was okay. Owen thought otherwise, he has a long list of useful work that he brought along, things that other scientists have suggested, worthwhile. How do I accomplish this feat of us producing our maximum without infringing on Owen’s time. He deserves some amount per day to do with as he chooses.

In a way space flight is rewarding but on a day to day it is awfully frus­trating. Up here we are manipulating thousands of switches, controls, dials, etc. to accomplish some precise tasks/experiment and so with all the actions you make many mistakes, more than you would like to—each session on an experiment I say this time I will do it perfectly, but 90% of the time not so, it’s a difficult assignment. Some miscues do not mean a thing, some ruin experiment data. Hopefully none ruin an experiment. It’s hard to stay up for all these experiments day after day, but that is one of the challenges that is a real part of the job. Jack today spent whole night pass taking star/moon and star/horizon sightings on his own time to satisfy an experiment. When the pass was over, 20 marks made, he was debriefing and as he was talking he said, well, I did those sightings with the clear window protector still on. He had not noticed it in the dark. The data would be off.001 arc sec or so and that just didn’t suit Jack. He told the experimenter on record that he would repeat them later.

Food stains get all over. Not yours so much but your crewmates’ food gets on you—shirt, face, hair, you don’t know it but at the end of the day your shirt has little spots where orange juice flew over, or steak juice. Once it starts to move it doesn’t hit the floor, it keeps going in its initial direction till it contacts something or someone. You tend to shield yourself when you open your own food so the spray heads toward your crew mates who are not watching.

Teleprinter message: To Bean, Garriott and Lousma

We have been watching and listening as the three of you live and work in space. Your performance has been outstanding and the observations that you are making are of tremendous impor­tance. Through your efforts Skylab 3 is a great mission.

Keep up the good work.


Jim Fletcher George Low

Received this today. Why do they not send something similar when you are not doing too well, like days 2—4, we appreciated this but just wonder­ing not only them but about myself.

Went to bed on time, do not feel as energetic as usual so feel something was coming on. Sleep is the best thing to repair me, it always works on Earth.


Good day today, first part anyway. One hour after wake up had an atm pass. This was the first of our new schedule. We are taking good atm pics and lots of them. We must be ahead of our nominal mission plan, I hope so. I have not felt good the last day or two. Think it’s my low water intake, I had hoped nature would take its course, but it did not. Better start forced drinking.

Failed my lbnp — had to cut off at 1 min 2 sec to go of a 15 min run. I was at 50mm and started to feel tingley—bp dropped and my heart rate start­ed down, it took a while (5 min) to feel normal again. Pulse got as low as 47—don’t think I’ll go that far down again. This is not like Earth in that you cannot put your head low and gravity force the blood from your head and heart from your legs — it could get a bit sticky if your heart beat got too low.

Jack was observer for the run and hated to put the results on the recorder I could tell, I had to remind him—he has a fine heart. Jack opened up the 2nd tape recorder and it also had a failed drive motor belt. Two failure of a complicated expensive recorder because of a plastic circular belt one-half inch wide and 3 inches long.

Performed T013 today, went well, all equipment worked. Hope the engi­neers can use the data to design control systems for future space stations and there is a need to know just how man moves the station because many experiments have delicate pointing requirements and the control system must maintain this accurately pointed during manned occupation. We had wondered if it would be difficult back in training to bounce back and forth between the force measuring panels but it was not. Hand-to-hand, feet-to – hand, hand-to-feet, all were simple. Jack feels a bit 2nd level, because for the last few days with 509 and T013 he has observed and reported me, rath­er than do it himself.

We received a “heads down” report down from our Dr.—it means don’t look out the windows at certain times because of possible nuclear explo – sions—this time it was near the French testing sites near Tahiti—French

Polynesia. When we awoke there was a teleprinter message for three con­secutive days.


Just found out our day off was tomorrow— Boy, the week goes fast as I hon­estly thought it was 2 days off.

Jack made a boo boo today. (I was flying M509 suited, boy did the umbil­ical give problems, especially on the rate gyro and ними modes—initially the thruster impingement on the suit caused big disturbances.) I mentioned to Houston (Dick Truly) how the back pack seemed to be too far back and the hand controller seemed too short—he came back and asked if we had taken the back spacer out—I looked at Jack and he looked at me. If they asked us later, we were going to say we flew it both ways — we made sure we could say so by flying it for 2 min with the back spacer out.

You soon find out not to set items down free without a tie down strap or spring or in a crevice or in your pocket. Even if released with zero velocity, the air currents will soon take it away, and which way is anyone’s guess. If the object is too big to tie down for just a minute you release it carefully and visually check it every 10 secs—after 2 or 3 checks you will have to reposi­tion it like you put it originally. It’s a habit easy to break but when you do, it then can result in many minutes of lost time hunting.

Owen and I stayed up and looked at the night pass over Mexico, Houston, New York, Nova Scotia and then Paris, the Mediterranean and east Afri­ca. We looked so big and strong and steady as we glided over the Atlantic in 15 minutes. Our atm solar panels were reflecting in the light of the near full moon behind us. We did not see Paris because of early morning haze but could Sardinia, Greece, Crete, Turkey, Israel, the Galilee, the Dead Sea and Africa where Montgomery and Rommel—Bet they would have given anything for a manned satellite to provide observation of the others troops and armor movements.

Owen became excited over the northern U. S. as he looked out and saw some aurora — this was a stranger yellower than the fog bank like aurora the other night but spectacular. There were vertical shafts of light almost like close spaced yellow green search lights.


Our first real day off. Best news was in the morning science report where it said we would catch up with all our atm science as well as the corollary except for medical which was reduced by 25 hours the first half of the mis­sion, we would do the rest—I called and discussed the additional blood work, hematology and urine analysis (specific gravity) that Owen had been doing and wanting them to count that.

We did housekeeping a bunch and had to plan two TV spectaculars. Since we have atm all day we had to schedule it in the 30 min night time crew eat (first night pass for 487). Hair cut next, then acrobatics, then shower. Lots of planning for 3 ten min shows but think the folks in the old U. S.A. will enjoy.

17,112.8 mph is our orbital speed. Had used 18,000 mph on TV and want­ed to be sure — (look at TV tapes for details of what we did) it’s fun but time consuming to do the TV. Just as we were to finish the shower scene my phone call to Sue came in—so Jack got out and waited—when I got back in 10 min or so he undressed and got in and lathered up — we took the TV scene, he rinsed off, we then took the last shot—the one where he floats out of the shower with his shorts on. Owen came back down in a minute and told us the TV switch was in atm so we did not get it—back in the shower Jack went and we ran again—but before he could completely dry his call came in so as he dried I ran up and configured the comm in the csm for him and talked to Gratia—when she heard what was holding Jack she laughed and said “you photograph him in the strangest places.” How can we make him famous if we don’t do it a little different. Anyway we finally got it done—I did more work on the day off than a normal work day. It was late but I ped­dled 5004 watt/min and took my first shower.

It was cooler than I like it—the biggest surprise was how the water clung to my body — a little like Jello in that it doesn’t want to shake off. It built up around the eyes, in the nose and mouth (the crevices) and it gave a slight feel­ing of trying to breathe underwater—I would shake my head violently and the water would drop away (not down but in all directions) some to cling to other parts of my body, some to the shower curtain, some sort of distended the water where they were and snapped back. The soap on the face stayed and diluted with rinse water. Tasted sour when I opened my mouth—that little vacuum has sufficient pull but is rigid and will not conform to the body—so does not do too well there but okay on the inside walls, floor and ceiling. Jack had said it was better to slide my hands over the body and to scrape the water off and over to the shower wall. This worked for hair, arms, legs, but difficult for body especially back—two towels were required to dry off because water did not drain.

Owen was a little annoyed with the TV effort. He did not want to prac­tice the acrobatics for the second time. He usually gets over it in an hour or so. It’s part of our job and we should give it equal time.


Flew T 20 for the first time. Jack as usual had the dirty work but was trying harder because of his error yesterday. The work was slow and tedious because it was the first time around and because the strap design was poor—the whole thing was.

Jack said “I’ve done some pretty dumb things in my life but I never got killed doing it—in this business that is saying a lot” —

Owen said “Well the dumbest thing I can remember was flying out to the observatory near Holleman nm — short hop so I decided to do it at 18,000 ft—as I neared there I started letting down, called approach control-we talked and as I descended their communications faded out—I kept think­ing why should they fade out—it suddenly dawned, shielded behind moun­tains — full power and a rapid climb in the dark saved my ass—I think of that incident several times every month over the last three years.”

Jack was saying that when we got back he and Owen might be considered regular astronauts—Owen laughed—it was beyond his wildest dreams to be classed as a real astronaut.

Been wishing Owen and I had taken pictures of the Israel area the first time we stayed awake to see it—I want to give pictures of this region to some of my religious friends.

Sue told me last night that Boe Adams would be indicted for borrowing twice on the same bank stock—she told me about the 37 murders in Hous­ton —we had not heard because on our nightly news they tend to eliminate the stressful news. Putting our 5,000 watt/min on the ergometer (or is it ergrometer like some say) in one 10 min and one 20 min run—have to stop at 15 min usually and let my 185 heart rate reduce to 150 or so, then finish.

Was supposed to photograph the Antipodes Islands southeast of New Zea­land but was too cloudy—Antipode is the opposite place on Earth and the opposite from the islands is on the English Channel—so the original discov­erer must have been from near there—these are on the 180th meridian.

We are crossing the date line every 93 minutes so we gain a day but of course as we go east we lose it an hour every time (look up some news on Glenn’s flight, might discuss this). 24 hours, so it all averages out.

Jack’s having his ice cream and strawberries. Jack’s food shelves when we transfer a 6 day food supply are almost full of big cans plus a few small—Owen and I have half full shelves with more or less equal amounts of small and large cans—he really puts down the chow.

All are in a good mood, morale is high in spite of all the hard work, we are getting the job done.

I was supposed to take pictures of the plains of Nazca in the Andes in Peru (about 300 mi se of Lima). Criss-cross patterns are the dominant features but I could not pick out even the 37 mi by 1 mi place called the airfield of the ancient astronauts. I was supposed to photograph with the 100 mm Hasselblad and the 300 mm Nikon and identify the plains and describe the geometric pattern. Also describe the general appearance of the plains and geographic relation to the adjacent features. — All in 5 min 10 sec of viewing—weather was broken clouds and I did not see the target. Could have several days ago many times—we must change our approach to ground targets.


A tough tough day. Worked almost all day on trying to find the leak in the condensate vacuum system—hundreds of high torque screws, stetho­scope, soap bubbles, 35 psi nitrogen, reconfiguring several pieces of 20 equip­ment —we never found the leak—that effort must have cost $2 Уг million in flight time.

Jack feels down, the SO19 stuck out and would not retract—we will keep using it but may have to jettison if it won’t come in. He’s hit the bed early, tired—the last atm pass of the day he ran all the S055 in mechanical refer­ence (102 steps less than optical) when it should have been optical—he was dragging—it was partly my fault as I left it there after my last run.

Owen got the word that the citizens of Enid would be putting their lights on for him to see—I went up with him—it was the clearest, prettiest night we’ve had—we could see Ft. Worth-Dallas perfectly—a twin city, one of few — then Oklahoma City then Enid then St. Louis then Chicago—Owen made a nice narration. He said he started to say he saw Tulsa up ahead and realized it was Chicago. Paul Weitz said that was the one thing he never became accustomed to on his flight—the speed which you cover the world, especially the U. S.

Passed my mo 92 today but used saddle position 5, may be too high out of the lbnp and not pull my blood so hard—Owen and I had a laugh by say­ing my delta p of 50 never gets lower, I just keep getting further out of the can—we visualized late in the mission sending TV to the doctors with just my feet in the unit but still pulling 50mm.

Heard tonight we may put in the rate gyro 6 pack — I told Owen I would do it because they did the twin pole and because that sort of work fits my skills better than Owen’s—hope it did not hurt his feelings but that is the way I see it and that’s my job—Owen even brought it up by saying “I think you want to put out the 6 pack and that’s okay with me—I’m glad to do it but know you want to”—I said you’re right we don’t need this job but if it comes up we will pull it off.


Today was a special day — found out we were going to put in the rate gyro 6 pack—who to do it—Owen still wants to do it and so do I. Made up my mind that it would be Owen and I but after reading the procedures real­ized that I should stay in because of my csm experience—Owen and Jack are just not up on it and it is the best decision—Jack will do the 6 pack as he is the most mechanical—Owen does not do those things as well as Jack, it will be tough to tell him tomorrow — I was awake for about two hours trying to put the pieces together and think Owen and Jack outside—me inside is the best way.

Got SO19 in today—just decided to turn the retract crank hard—did so for 10-15 turns but the clutch slipped and it did not move. When I looked in the optics. I think turned it out (extend) then in (retract) then out then in and low and behold it came in.

I took it apart and looked okay as far as possible ice—looked as if a chain synchronizing the x screw drive was loose and may have stuck on a sprock­et. I checked with Houston, adjusted a idler sprocket and it seemed to work okay. Jack looked at it too and noticed another chain that might be too tight so we loosened it. The mirror was so cold that it had condensation on it for several hours. Houston (Karl Henize) wanted it out in a vacuum so the mois­ture would sublimate and minimize residue deposited.

Had to laugh, Jack said he couldn’t fart in the lbnp because he was being pulled down too hard on the saddle—needs a hole in it said Owen—we all pass gas up here—the nice way to say it is “watch out for my green cloud” if someone else comes near.


Told Owen and Jack about eva crewman, they both seemed happy, told them what factors influenced me and who I felt most qualified for each position. Called Houston and told them later, they seemed happy. I started looking at the equipment for the job—all in good shape. Gingerly tested the tool for the interior plug removal and it looked promising. Will have to work on check lists later—need many questions answered from Houston.

Day went fast as it always does—only hard part was exercise io minutes (i min ioo watt, i min @ 125, 2 @ 150, 2 @ 175, 2 @ 200, 2 @ 225) on the ergom – eter. Then some Mk 1 and Mk 11 work—then 25 min where I increase my 1700 watt-min to 5000 watt-min. It’s a good workout and more than I did on Earth.

Owen seemed a little distant later today, don’t know whether it is the hours or the EVA.

Worked on the coolant loop leak inspection. Jack made a break through by taking out screws which we could not turn using vice grips—did not fin­ish procedure but found no leaks either, must be outside (I hope so).

Owen reported an arch on the uv monitor in the corona yesterday. We called it Garriott waves to the ground—he was in the lbnp and was embar­rassed and told us to knock it off— we were happy for him. Today he heard the ground could not it see it in their taped TV display — he went back and checked and found it to be a sort of phantom or mirror image of the bright features of the sun except reflected in the camera by the instrument. He’ll get over it (maybe that’s why he was distant).

Crippen woke us this morning with Julie London singing “The Party’s Over.” Jack wanted to make this Julie London Day, so did Crippen so he could call her but Owen won out with Gene Cagle Day.

Got my exploration map up on the wall of my bunk room—Have to write propped up on the wall since my bunk is upside down.


Would you believe it we get better н-alpha pictures at sunset than we do at sunrise because our velocity relative to the sun is less and that effective­ly changes the freq of the filter in our н-alpha cameras and telescopes—not a small item either.

Owen’s humor—I said “watch your head” as I pulled out the film drawer. Owen replied “I’ll try but my eyeballs don’t usually move that far up.”

We were laughing about the malfunctions we had after we discovered the water glycol leak — I wanted to call Houston and say “Jack is working on the cbrm mal, Owen on the camera mal—tomorrow after we fix the door mals, the 9 rate/gyro mals and the 149 mal of the nylon swatch mal, I’ll start work again on the coolant loop some more or the water glycol leak mal”.

Everyone feels better about eva—I worry too much and Jack will pull it off. Funny how easy it looks now that we are going to do it—did it get eas­ier as we understood the plan or did we just want it to be doable? Morale is high—did perfect on my mo 92/171.


eva day. I was talking to myself during eva and Jack wondered what I was saying—I told him “I was just shooting the shit.” Jack quipped, “get any?—what’s the limit on those?”—Owen was saying “Come on, . . . hustle. . .” Give us some of that (positive mental attitude)—pma (he doesn’t believe in it. But knows I use it on me and them also.) “Go Earl (Earl Nightingale).” I said “you need it, it’s worked on you whether you like it or not.”

Jack had a difficult time with connector number two—it was difficult for me to keep from asking questions of Jack as I wondered if that would be the end of the show but he said don’t talk for awhile and just let me work on it. He did for a very long 5 minutes and then reported connected.

Owen was elated with the view over the Andes—the 270 degree panora­ma with 3 solar panels in the field of view to form a perspective or frame work they were flying over all the world outside of the vehicle going 17,000 mph (get transcript of evas). Lost three shims and one nut taking off the first ramp.

We have only 1 to 2 min of TV recorder time left so have to hold it for Owen’s return to the fas. Owen had to come out of the foot restraints to remove the ramps from the so 56 and 82 a doors. Sun end eva lights worked this time —Jack said he can see many orange lights, we were over mid Rus­sia —not many cities—Orion came up, a beautiful constellation, Owen still working on bolts at Sun end.

Got a master alarm—cmg sat — s/c going out of attitude—I put it in att Hold—TACS when was out 16 degrees.

Sometimes, like on a tall building, you get a controllable urge similar to jumping off which is to open a hatch to vacuum—or take off a glove or pop a helmet—fortunately these are passing impulses that you can control but it is interesting to know they take place.

Great eva today — all happy tonight. Owen summed it up when he said “It’s something that needed doing.” Jack said he thought I made the right decision—so do I and we are all satisfied.

Owen bitched about the medical types that take care of our food because they told Paul Buchanan our food cue card were wrong for optimal salt and they had not bothered to update and had been making them up with sup­plements. — Owen flew off the handle because he has been needing salt.

It is comforting to know someone (many someones) on the ground are working your space craft problems faster and much better than we. We gen­erally perform a holding action if we can. Till help and advice comes, then take the info or suggestions and do them, this is the only way you can free your mind to do the day to day tasks, the productive tasks while someone is trouble shooting your problems.

Heard yesterday that Fred Haise crashed in a Confederate Air Force T-6 and was badly burned but would survive. Seemed his engine out and he dead sticked it into a field, a wing tore off and the whole thing caught fire—burned him over his whole body except his face, so that’s lucky—heard today that he was on oral foods so he must be improving.

Rearranged my bunk room—put a portable light on the floor near the head of my bed and turned my beta book bag upside down so I could grab the items inside easier. I use the door of the bottom locker (pulled out about 30 degrees) as a writing desk. Stole the power cable for the light from the spiders’ cage—hope Owen doesn’t get upset. He has been getting messages to feed them both filet and keep them watered. Will we bring them to the post flight press conference?

The teleprinter is a device about which you can have mixed feelings — it would be hell to get the information any other way so it must be cared for as an expenditure of effort. But at the same time every time you hear it print­ing you know it’s more work for you to do. Wish we would get a non work related message sometime.


Felt good to have atm film again. Operating the atm telescopes and camer­as is one of the most enjoyable tasks here. It is challenging, you can direct­ly contribute to improved data acquisition—Owen has effectively changed the method of operating it in just % of a month. The Polaroid camera and the persistent image scope have made a significant difference.

I had Houston give all the atm passes tomorrow, our day off, to Jack and I, so Owen could finish some things he is behind on and do some addition­al items that he has planned prior to flight—the flight is Уг over and he has little spare time—he needs some to be happy.

Using the head for sponge baths (bad name because sponges squirt water out when pushed on the skin).

(Tell story of mdac test) has become more pleasant as I have been less careful about sprinkling water about. I tend to now splash it somewhat. And after the bath is complete wipe up the droplets on the walls. None on the floor like on Earth if you did the same.

We passed Pete, Joe and Paul’s old space flight mark, in fact we now hold the world record for space flight—it feels good to be breaking new ground said Jack today. We will be Уг into our mission tomorrow night.

Our TV got too hot during eva and quit working—we will do the rest of the mission on one TV I guess. Funny, they did not insulate it sufficiently. We had a plan to put it out the solar air lock for eva but can’t do it now.

Sue and Amy will be getting up soon over in London—we do not go over London, it above 50 degrees N latitude.

Europe is an awfully small part of the Earth—so is the U. S.. Jack has mentioned several times that each time he looks out the window it’s either water or clouds or night.

The odds for man all beginning long ago back in the sea is reasonable just from a total volume of water available to total area of land available.

Jack has a small sty on his left eye, he wanted some “yellow mercury” but settled for Neosporin. Jack treated himself but Owen will examine it tomor­row — Paul Buchanan said for us to be extremely careful because that could be contagious. Perhaps a streptococcus of some type.

Our little Sony tape recorders are holding up so so. It is necessary to clean the rubber drive wheel about once per two days—lots of trouble.

Did Mk I exerciser TV today, also some Mk 11 and side horse swinging on the portable hand grips.

I keep my personal items in a locker above my head—it was across from me at eye height till I turned my bunk up side down, it has a hand hold with a thin rubber sheet covering it. The rubber sheet has a horizontal slit in it and serves to keep objects inside when my hand is inside searching for one of the 20 or so objects within. As I look inside I see chewing gum, stereo tapes,

Skylab sticker, my dental bridge, a string tether for books. Some tape drive wheel cleaning swabs, a couple of old teleprinter messages.


We are going to sleep just under one hour to the mission midpoint. Our sci­ence briefing today showed that we had made up the atm observing time we missed early in the mission and predictions are for us to exceed even the 260 hr atm sun viewing goal. We are ahead in corollary experiments. They are even having us try a new so 63 using the ams that was not to have been till sl 4.

Took my second shower, noticed that you could not hear much of the time less you shook your head because large amounts of water cling to your ear openings. I was the only one showering today.

We did urine refractory tests to determine specific gravity.

Exercised today although that is not my plan for day offs—not doing the exercise would be a nice reward but did not have time eva day.

Think the reason the days pass so quickly up here is the variety of tasks we each do—we never do any one thing longer than 3 hours and the typical would be one hr or less — and you feel you’re doing what you trained for for more than 2 Уг years. I spent much training time in the Navy for war and never went, thank God.

Talked to my mom and dad. Mom is so happy with Pepper and David’s new baby, Brandi Frances, that she doesn’t know what to do — if it had been a boy they were going to make the middle name Arnold. That might suggest Pepper’s feelings toward her grandparents. Mom said Clay was leaving for school next week—had returned from California at 3 in the morning.

Am going thru all my music tapes to grade them pop or easy listening. And very good, good or so so. Seems I listen to the same 3 or 4 all the time.

Jack made an excellent observation when he said NASA should play down the spider after the initial release because it tended to detract from the more meaningful experiments we are doing up here. Will the tax payer say, now that I know what they are doing up there, I don’t like my money going for that sort of thing.

Owen tried to do a science bubble experiment with cherry drink but didn’t look too promising to me. He kept losing the drop of drink from the straw.

Jack suggested we put a pair of trousers in with our clothes in the csm so we would have a full uniform on the ship — we will wear our hypertensive garment for entry—in fact we may wear it for the sps burn since we found out Paul and Joe had a gray out during this burn.

We may want to give the entry guidance to the cm early if gray out occurs there too.

I have noticed if I do not force myself to drink then I will drink much less than on Earth and will dehydrate—I do not seem to automatically desire the proper quantity of water. Owen and I were talking about a possible advan­tage to the 18 days post flight urine and water measuring period—I suggest­ed that when we get back we may not naturally readapt to one G and become dehydrated there. He does not agree at all.

Jack is playing his music in bed. Owen and I both agree on his music at least.

I slept 9 hours last night, a record for me in space.


Spent part of the morning composing a message to the dedication of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Space Center. Thanks to Owen’s and Jack’s sug­gestions, it turned out acceptable I think. It must have because Dr. Fletch­er read only President Nixon’s and ours.

When I used to go from compartment to compartment I would be lost when I got there—now I look ahead as I enter and do a quick roll to the “heads up” attitude for the space I’m entering.

Owen said his only regret was that he would never adapt to Zero G again—he thinks Pete is the only one besides ourselves that has ever done so — the weight loss and the poor appetite are the evidence. We could gain all sorts of weight if we wished.

My pockets are most useful—Lower left—all trash I pick up I empty from time to time. Jack just keeps it there till he throws the pants away. Right low­er, tape and tools if needed. Upper left, timer and tools. Upper right sizzers and flashlight. The little pockets for pens and pencils, knife and sizzers. Far from perfect—flaps too short, needs snap & need more width.

I’ve noticed I enjoy the atm time—The controls are an intellectual chal­lenge and just interesting. Mostly I think it’s because it’s the only solitude that is available. No noise from anyone else—It’s a time to be alone. In the sleep compartment someone is right next to you & it is not so private some­how —Here, seldom does anyone float by.

By the way, living in og means you make no noise generally as you approach someone else, no footsteps, no ripples in the water, just silent swift move­ment. I’ve noticed that each of us tends to say something to another as we approach just to keep from surprising him—startling him. I noticed this silent movement first in skin diving — I could look around and suddenly there some 3—5 feet away would be a big fish—It all depended on the visibility of the water because much of the time one kept a good scan going.

The sty on Jack’s left eye is going away — He found no “yellow mercury” but used Neosporin.

This message was sent to the ground by Alan for the dedication of lbj Center.

Owen, Jack and I would like to send our best wishes to Mrs. Johnson, Governor Brisco, Dr. Fletcher, Dr. Kraft and all the other distinguished guests and officials at the dedication ofthe Lyndon Baines Johnson Space Center. The work in which we are engaged now in Skylab would not be possible had it not been for the strong support and leadership of Pres. Johnson in the Senate and the Presidency.

Our present preeminence in space is in no small way a result of his grasp ofthe fact that a progressive program of space exploration contributes significantly to the future well being of our nation and its people. We are proud to be represent­ing nasa and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Space Center as we circle the Earth.

We believe the work we do here now is an extension of that which he char­tered and championed.


So I feel on top of the world.

Ergometer broke, I fixed it then went back and overtorqued it (should have stopped at 30 in lb) and broke the bolt. Jack used the bone saw then his Swiss Army knife (wonder if the Swiss army really uses them) hack saw blade to fix it—I pedaled 6007 watt/min with 3 min at 300 watts. A new record both for time & for max power. We are whipping into good condition.

I got mad at Owen today — He has a habit of acting disgusted when I make a mistake—Today I had aligned the atm wrong and he was nodding his head—I lost my temper and told him to quit. Maybe he will take the hint.

I asked the ground to let Owen fly M509 soon—He has not flown any simulator, it is safe & it would answer some important questions. Hope Jack won’t mind.

Also asked the ground to invent a pointing device for locating ground sites we should photograph rather than just telling us which window—Hope they will because it would help. Most of the flyover time is spent verifying that you have the right place by looking at the maps, that other observa­tions are compromised.

They wanted to know tonight if Owen would fly on our day off and I said sure—later I asked him and he said ok.

Did a TV tour with Jack today. He was shifting his eyes a lot at first and I told him—he never did so again, he likes TV and will be very good at it when we return. I try to teach them all I know—or think I know.

About every other night I get up because of unusual noises — mostly they are all thermal noises. The most unusual view occurred once as I left my bunk and peered up to the forward compartment. The Уг light from the lock revealed three white suited figures, arms outstretched, leaning sever­al awkward ways—silent, large with white helmet stowed over them—one drying, the others waiting to dry. I was shook a little by the eerie sight so I went to the wardroom and looked out. The dark with white airglow layer and white clouds filed the lower right portion of the window like it was one foot away. It startled me even more.


Morale is high—work level is high. Last night after dinner Owen asked Jack if he (Jack) would like him (Owen) to take his late atm pass. Jack said no he was looking forward to it—he wanted to find some more Ellerman bombs—(bright points in penumbra near sun spots) as he got some earli­er —I interrupted and mentioned that the flight planners had voice uplinked a change in the morning, assigning me to the pass. Owen laughed—here we all are fighting for the last atm pass.

Kidded Owen about wearing his M133 cap—said Jack and I better watch our ps & Qs tomorrow, Owen will be in a bad, criticizing mood—he took the kidding well, hope it will have effect.

I have been decreasing my number of mistakes significantly by only doing one job at once —atm is the one most enticing to doing special task as a set of instruments is operating. Invariably if I do, I do not get back in time or do not catch a simple error in the set up. I am waiting now doing SO19 which requires little thought other than checking the exposure time every few sec­onds. Exposures are 270, 90 or 30 sec.


Had another run with T-20—suspect it was the last unsuited run. Worked somewhat better but the restraint straps were too time consuming to put on.

Noticed I have begun to think of places I like to go — spaghetti joint in la, drive down the San Diego Freeway too. I can see it in my mind’s eye. Our trip to Israel, I see the drive to the Galilee with Mathew Simon. Driv­ing the Gulf Freeway in Houston, Christmas time in the Ft. Worth/Dallas area—shopping at Northwest Mall, driving home last Christmas Eve with gray skys, funny the places you remember, often the least memorable.

I declared “This is the captain speaking, this is proclaimed ‘loud music day’ aboard Skylab, only loud music will be played.” I may have to wres­tle Owen to the floor. I noticed Jack was playing loud Dixieland at the atm panel—he sent some to the ground.

Owen was testing our Achilles tendon this morning—funny to hear Owen ask Jack “how about tapping my leg?” You must get used to touching one another in this job. Doctors do and probably some other professionals, but test pilots usually do not. Putting the sensors on the upper right and left but­tocks (sacrum) is a difficult task for us—handling the fecal bundles before they are dried is also a bit new and not comfortable although completely natural and sanitary.

Owen has been unusually pleasant today—wonder if it was the kidding last night.

Jack and I did TV last night—finished up the tour of the lower compart­ments, Jack did an excellent job, soft-spoken, a few jokes sprinkled in here and there, shower bit with him inside was good. He had to do the ending twice but it turned out okay, I advised him to complete the show in the lbnp he did, it just wasn’t right.

Been way ahead on my time line today — the flight planners gave me house­keeping time and a long lunch—they are really scratching their heads to think of useful things for us to do.

The ergometer must be easier to operate at zero G—perhaps because of no weight the legs only have to push pedal force 35# and not the weight of the body.

We did some activities Achilles tendon reflex TV today and later I acciden­tally put some 183 TV on the recorder over it. We repeated the test later.

Brought our 6 day food supply down—all helped put it in the pantry.

Be glad when erep starts again so we have more good solid science to accomplish. We have been doing a lot of s/ c tests and bmmd tests lately.

The condensate dump line plugged up last night—worked on it off and on all day—hot 35 psi water finally cleared the line—wonder if it will give more trouble, bet it will.

Exercised 10,041 watt/min today for a new world record for me—my nor­mal is about 5,000.

Jack said Gratia said he was on TV last night with part of the tour. She liked it—Sue gets home from Europe, London, Braunwald (Switz.) late tonight. I’ll call tomorrow.

Jack’s boy (6) got on the phone and told Jack their dog was the father of a litter of puppies next door. Jack wondered how he knew and his son said they were black like his dog—Jack had a cat named Detail because as a kit­ten it slept on the warm car motor one too many times.


Good day—we all hustled all day long—Jack almost got a big flare. He was on the panel and the Be counter went up almost enough to have the size flare called for today (counter one, 4,150 counts). He had counter 2, 3,000 or so counts—when I arrived (had been exercising on the Mk 1), he was slewed to a bright linear region or plage that was several times brighter than anything else on the display. It almost looked iridescent (in B&w) Jack could not make up his mind whether to go all the way or not—he elected a prudent course and went into a modified low film usage flare mode. Sure enough, it did not go any higher, he had calculated right. This is where man in the loop comes. Can use his judgment and commit resources as appears wise at the time.

Had a slight argument with Mission Control—we have for two days try­ing to make the waste management dump system work to empty the hold­ing tank and water separators. They have had us do all sorts of procedures to clear it out, dump air, dump hot water at 35 psi-suddenly today Bruce McCa – ndless calls up and yells, “cdr, that last dump you made may have backed up and cracked the separator plates, turn off both condensate valves, switch air flow to heat exchanger в on both Mole sieves and quit dumping.” Well, I quit dumping several hours ago. Next site I told them we were operating this space station like an unmanned station, we could change probes bring up the old probe, look at it, plug it in and check the heaters, blow it out with high pressure nitrogen, they said they would take it under advisement. I also said you could not inspect the plates for cracking as they had a chamy cloth over, under and between the two plates (like a double decker sandwich).

Did my exercise while Owen did M092-93 and I was the observer—ped­dled 200 watts for 4 min then adjusted his setting, then 200 more for the next 4 minutes. While he did 93 I went upstairs and did Mk 1. There are many ways to get ahead on the time line.

The sun has lots of activity on it—it looks like a Christmas ball with many bright lites on it—strung across the equator mostly—wonder if could be like Owen’s water bubble experiment the other day where as he spun the 1 Уг inch ball of water the air bubbles in it all lined up along the equator of the spin axis.

Owen and I were laughing about this night we both went up to see the lights of Enid—he talked of Mexico, Ft. Worth, Dallas, here comes Tulsa, Oklahoma City, look at St. Louis, Chicago—everything but Enid—Hel­en Mary called up there and tried to sooth the people—she gave Owen hell—I kept telling him to say something about Enid but guess he was too shy, they had a direct TV hook up, radio hook to us and all lights including the football field.

Found a stereo tape of mine in one of Pete’s cassette holders. Must have been there since day one—knew some of my music was missing—found it because I was trying to mark the good/so so tapes. We have not played any of SL-4’s music yet I may ask them if it’s okay to do so.

We have been thinking about asking to be extended. We all feel good, obvi­ously healthy. Don’t exactly know how we can go about it ethically — there must be a proper way.

We are going to ask Dr. Buchanan (Paul) about Fred Haise.

Sue had a great time in London and Switzerland—She said Amy was so perfect. She is that anyway. I know the trip was good for both as 60 days is a long time to wait. She will not sit and wait but she will have to wait never­theless. It felt good to hear her voice and know she is nearer.

Owen, Jack and I were laughing about the fact that we are on our 6th food bundle and have filled 6 fecal return containers. He thinks the whole flight might be a phony and we are up here just to process food—I said we could just invent a machine to do this and eject the waste for aircraft recov­ery. Think of the trouble it might save. Jack chimed in Hey, I’m going on strike, I won’t eat. I’ll just put my food directly in the fecal bags—yes, cans and all—Owen quipped don’t forget to include the supplemental pills.

There are many islands in the world. Some small one lost way in the mid­dle of a vast ocean. Some green, some brown, some sandy with light blue green water, the beach—some are just the circular edges of ancient volca­noes —who knows how they slipped beneath the surface.


Writing this on day 245. Yesterday we had our first erep pass in a long time. It felt good to be back at it. We are good at erep and it’s a worth while experiment. I mentioned for the first time—since the timing seemed just right—that we wondered if they had heard anything about our staying an additional 10 days. It caught all by surprise, (except Jack and Owen, they were caught a little by surprise because I had intended to wait about 5 or so more days), the time just felt right.

We are all in such excellent health physically and mentally that this is the right way to do—it could be a great thing for NASA to keep us up here it wouldn’t cost much and the sun is very active right now.

Jack, Owen and I are eating the overage food much more than any of us thought. Jack needs more calories, Owen more salt and potassium and I need more potassium also.

I sure feel different about our physical condition now than I did when we were losing leg circumference. The question was when would it stop.


Day off— Two erep passes plus some good atm — Owen caught a flare, Jack and Owen a couple of smaller flares. The sun is hotter right now than it’s been in 14 years. We can even see 8 or so active regions on the xuv monitor without integration. Jack says it looks like a 3 day after Halloween pump­kin Jack o lantern.

Dr. Paul asked if we really wanted to go the extra 10 days and we said “You bet.” He asked if we had talked to our wives and Owen said he did last night and she is 100% in favor, for as long as he can. Paul said he would just let that drop without comment. As predicted, Owen explained how she meant it.

Owen played his classical music all morning, so I would not put on my loud stuff. I’m enjoying the newly discovered music tape.

Came over San Francisco just before sunset—It’s a beautiful place even from 270 miles. The city was clear but the fog was covering the bridge and just sticking into the bay. It will be a pretty night there tonight I bet.

Did not take a shower. Takes too long.

Heard Jack debrief M487—I need to get his comments (all the guys’ comments)


Clouds are like snowflakes, no two alike—patterns are every kind imagin­able and unimaginable—light furry white, furry grey.

Got my first flare today—A C6 in active region 12. I noticed it while doing some sun center work as an especially bright semicircular ring around a spot. There were 8 or so similar bright rings but this one became exception­ally bright both in Hydrogen-alpha and in the xuv. I debated with myself about stopping the scheduled atm work and going over and concentrate on the possible flare. As of this time it had not reached full flare intensity and it is not possible to know whether it will just keep increasing in intensity or will level off then drop. As I elected to stop the experiments in progress and repoint I noticed about 5800 counts on our Be counter aperture 2 —A true good flare would be 4150 counts aperture 1. It never got much higher. Owen hustled up at once to help—He noted 55 was not at sun center so we repointed it (It was 80 arc sec too low) We took pictures on all except 82A which is extremely tight on film at this point.

Paul had Joe Kerwin talk with us the other night. Joe had heard we had asked to stay and he indicated they had discussed it on day 22 or 24 and decided against it. He seemed to think they had made the proper decision. Joe indicated Pete, Paul & he were in preflight condition—the only real funny was the fact their red blood cell mass was down 15% or so and their bodies did not start making it up till about Day 17. Why it waited that long they do not know. I wondered if it were possible to affect the mechanism so that it stopped forever. Seems far fetched but a thought.

As an astronaut you become very health conscious—if we were not so healthy we could become hypochondriacs. I’ve worried about a rupture in the lbnp. My legs losing circumference, back strain on the exerciser, gain­ing too much weight, not having a good appetite in zero G, heart attacks. You name it—I worried about it —As Owen said—from a health viewpoint these may be the most important 2 months in our lives. He could be right with the changes going on and the remoteness of medical aid.

Owen stayed up late doing atm because of the activity.


Jack told Story we had only 1 set of salt packets left—or 11 normal days worth.

Sounds like a monumental screwup to us. No one counted the salts as what everyone was using—I said it shot a hole in our staying extra days —Jack responded, yeah, all they need is an excuse to get us back on time. Besides if I don’t stay longer, said Jack, how can I finish my bmmd work. It is a joke just how much bmmd work we have done over the last weeks. Repeatabili­ty tests, 50/150 gram weight change tests/insensible water loss tests (mount­ing food trays & calibrating).

Jack sure loves to talk on comm. and especially on TV—on erep he chat­ters away constantly. Bet the guys on the ground enjoy his blow-by-blow descriptions. Jack started maneuver back to si with too short a maneuver time in while talking.

Jack’s extra food is eating into SL-4 supplies. It’s hard to tell which his motive, to hold weight now or to eat up SL-4 food so they can’t stay so long.

I mentioned to Owen that our attitude varies like the sun’s activity — now it’s way up because the sun’s activity is up. Owen avowed that ours is up or way up. Always positive. I mentioned that the first few days it didn’t seem way up. He allowed that. It wasn’t down—sort of like rain on a camping trip — You just have to be patient, good times are ahead. He also allowed that that would be a quotable quote when we got back.

Forgot to mention Jack saying that if they extended us we could always do bmmd calibrations all day — Right, 1 on the bmmd, i on each smmd, then rotate every hour.

In the middle of last night I heard a loud thump—It actually shook the vehicle. I got out of bed and looked at all the tank pressures in the cluster and even in the csm. Nothing seen—I recorded the time 0725 and told Hous­ton this morning. They called back and said they broke the data down at minute intervals and found nothing—they are now breaking it into Уг sec increments. Something happened, but what I don’t know. Perhaps it was a sharper than usual thermal deformation possibly caused by lower beta angle & more rapid sunrise/sunsets. It may show up someday—I hope not entry day with it being a csm pyro. Maybe we got a small meteoroid hit. Well, forget it, or at least, put it in the back of my mind.


I mentioned to Owen about it becoming colder now, especially noticeable in the early morning—You might freeze your ass off if you don’t watch out. Owen said yes the fyao (pronounced fay-yo) number is going up—hope it never reached 1 because


Jack is pedaling the bike with his arms—good for shoulder and arms, he can do 125 watt/min for 5 minutes.

Owen just flew by with the evening teleprinter messages—We try to find a new record, our old record is from the dome hatch to the ceiling of the experiment compartment.

My pocket timer has been invaluable. It allows you to concentrate on two jobs at once without worry you will forget the first. I keep grey tape on both switches so they won’t get accidentally knocked off while in my pocket.

I’m doing 2 16 min exposures on SO19—forgot and left the wardroom win­dow open for the first 30 sec on the first one.

Stowed the erep film in CSMA9 locker complete with brackets—Easier than I thought. We are getting ready.

Owen was on the atm almost all day doing jop 12—Calibration rock­et work to compare with a more recent sun sensor instrument to insure our instrument calibrations have not drifted.

erep tape recorder easy to load, tape has not set and does not float off the reel & make a tangle.

Story Musgrave said there was a sound in the background like a roaring dragon—It was the sound of Jack pulling the мк i exerciser.

Jack’s triangle shoes are wearing out—Hard work on the bike & мк її mostly. He is going to recommend SL4 bring up an extra pair.

Did TV of SO19 set up—It was quick. Did not use the checklist much as it is a familiar one. Did it efficiently.

Took a soap (Nutregina) & rag bath today after work out—Do a soap one every other day—And a water one the other day. We are all clean—Body odor just is not present nor is a sticky feeling after exercise.

If one gets stranded in the middle of an open volume he could merely take off clothes & throw the opposite direction you would like to travel. With no clothes you could wait till the urge to urinate was upon you & jet over. Actually there is enough air flow to prevent any stagnation except against some other object—Sometimes though you will accidentally let loose or your triangle shoe will slip out and you will start a slow drift across the forward compartment—It’s exasperating because there is nothing to do but wait.

Several things I have learned up here but the most valuable for any opera­tion is “Do not try to do anything else while you operate atm — You invari­ably make atm mistakes.”

Another is 2 to з minutes is too short a time to let your mind wander on another subject when you are within that time from a job that must be done then—such as a switch throw, photo exposure, etc.

Our condensate system vacuum leak has fixed itself— somehow when I connected it all back up after the dump probe changeout it did not leak. The ground thinks it’s a fitting on the small condensate tank. Glad to see it go because the і to і Уг hours per night to dump was time consuming.

Changed my jacket today. Wasn’t dirty but need the 2 patches, the flag and the name tag off them.


Good day. Did erep. Got 3 Phoenix sites on one pass but did not find the 4th one (Sand Dunes National Monument) Probably had it in the vts but could not see the dunes. It’s hard to find in a short time. Had my chosen photos of the targets (nasa wants them called sites) all clipped or taped in close view—As I was waiting to start the erep pass we had a 3 min maneu­ver time to z-lv I did two chips of the atm contingency plan for no erep then powered it down for erep. Bet that’s a space first.

Grand Rapids blinked its lights for Jack Lousma tonight. He said some good words over the headset.

Our private medical conference which seems to drag a bit because we are all well with nothing to report. It’s good to hear Paul because sometimes we get straighter information than from Capcoms.

My exploration map has not been of much use during the flight. I’ll have to look at it more. — Our synoptic view just isn’t as great as I had imagined. So many things seem commonplace now that prior to flight were unknowns, for example the physical condition we would be in by now or the final eva. How we would get around inside the vehicle, how much work we could do, what our mental attitude would be.

Talked with Sue tonight — Amy had a sore throat — She, perfect person, knew how many days before I came home—what date today was, what date I would splash down—she is so competent. Sue seemed tired from her first few days of teaching school. It will do her good to earn the money to sup­port the swimming pool. She is giving a party (going away) for the Scotts inviting all our group that can make it. Dick Gordon, who has the perfect job, the one Pete & I picked for him, and his wife Barbara may come from New Orleans.

Owen threw some peanuts from the experiment compartment floor all the way to the dome and I caught them in my mouth—may be a distance record for that sort of thing.

Fun to move objects like SO19 around and just let them float.

Owen was playing some waltzes and remarking “There’s music to waltz by, no better, music to float by” — Jack piped in with, “Hell, that’s music to fart by — In fact all music is that way up here.”


Owen got a x class flare first time manning the atm panel this morning, we all hustled up there to help. It was well done. The big daddy flare we have been waiting for. All of us were laughing and cutting up. Owen had said yesterday he had used all his luck up. Guess he didn’t or he’s running on Jack’s or mine.

3 of Jack’s 4 erep sites were overcast. We did TV prep prior to the pass.

Took apart the video tape recorder and removed 4 circuit boards, 63 screws did the job. No sign of circuit problems, burns, loose wires, etc.

Owen & Paul had it out on the exercise as Paul said last night Owen was slacking off. Jack was up at the atm and was laughing and hollering as was I. We have been calling Owen slacker this evening.

Owen and I got 10 erep film cassettes, 1 erep tape, 3 Earth terrain cam­era mags and a SO19 mag out of a plenum bag where the sl-2 crew had left it. Wonder if we could use it on our mission or on a mission extension.

Owen & I went up and got out some grape drink & lemonade & pears & peaches & pineapples from overage for all of us to eat. We probably won’t eat it all but then will not have to keep going back.

Jack told us about boot camp. How he was told to get in line and be quiet. When he got to the airport. How the Di’s treated everyone. How they han­dled the situation if your bunk was not made right or rifle was not clean or clothes not in place. Jack said it taught you to follow orders without asking questions among other things—Owen said he was not prepared to go thru that type of training at his age—one time maybe yes, but not with what his attitudes are now.

I am very happy with the way our crew is performing—We are doing the job without problems & without giving problems. In my view, it’s a profes­sional performance.

Pete was sitting by Bob Crippen tonight. He sent congratulations for pass­ing him in space flight time—I told Bob to tell him the reason I said for him

to never look back was that I was right on his heels. Pete said that’s the name of the game. I then asked him to ask Pete to fly our entry timeline a couple of times when all the trajectory was finalized—He and Vance.


Made a decision for Owen & I to do the eva. Talked it over with Jack before I asked Owen—Reason was that he would probably get another chance to fly & to eva, but Owen would not. In my opinion Owen has made this space flight much more interesting than it could have been with 3 opera­tional types.

Tried reading while exercising today. It was much better than just look­ing at the panel.

Jack mentioned he felt bad after the spin chair — He wonders if we are becoming sensitive again—I told him I had felt that way last time and believed it’s because we have not been doing flips, somersaults, spins as much. We will start doing them the last 4 or 5 days.

Owen & Jack could not reach wives for private comm. because all the wives were going out to dinner. They will try tomorrow.

I timed a fastest time from wardroom table to atm and got 11 sec. From csm to wardroom 15 sec. Fastest.

Owen was measuring insensible weight loss during sleep again.


Day off. Good day—We worked at steady pace—1 erep cancelled because of weather, the other very cloudy. Jack shot a site that they did not send up because they thought he would not be able to see it. Owen has been excit­ed by seeing such fantastic aurora due to the big flares we have had recently. We found out in the science conference that the big x flares we had the oth­er day peaked 3 times in the night before we saw it. We got it just after peak. Today on the atm we got 3 flares—2 mi class just at the last pass and Owen stayed up late to finish the synoptic the next rev. Jack earlier had an eruptive prominence that was large enough to see with the Hydrogen-alpha zoomed fully out (min magnification) You could not see it move but in a few min­utes it would be in a different place. It was the only thing Jack said that he had seen move on the sun. It was bigger than any we had in the simulator.

Gratia told Jack not give up hope on a mission extension. Keep up a good attitude and in good health.


Looking back over the last few weeks I’ve had to laugh—we’ve been like hogs in slop—one day we had erep, a flare, and aurora all in one pass. Once Jack saw both north and southern lights in the same day—he may be the only man in history to do so. I got the man in space record.

Tonight, I wonder what Dr. Buchanan is going to say. Today I rode the bike when Jack was doing M092—No real problem at all but the Earth doc­tors just don’t think operationally — my guess is they want full attention to watching the subject. Owen thought it was bad form too because it was not called for in the experiment protocol.

Good erep—did a dry lake near Boulder Colorado and also took data on a hilly site near by—These multiple sites are fun—Got to quit using the worlds targets & shoot on the air.

Did a TV pass over the Sahelian zone (a 500 mile strip just below the Sahara desert) running from the Atlantic to the Red Sea where a 4 to 5 year drought is causing hunger, disease, etc. We hope images from future space vehicles will help these situations — not make it rain but maybe aid in locat­ing potential subsurface water areas, water runoff routes, and so forth. The state department had requested it and wanted a more “promising” speech but I thought best to play it straight.

I have been doing TV of our operations for SL4 guys—it hasn’t had much class but I hope it will help them. Just showing on TV what things should help them get going faster and smoother up here.

Owen brought out his tape with Helen Mary’s voice playing like she was up here—it started with her muttering over the comm box about the inter­action between the comm boxes and causing a squeal. Then she said, “Hel­lo, Houston, this is Skylab.” Long pause. “Hello, Houston, this is Skylab.” Now Bob Crippen, who was in on the joke says, “What’s going on up there.” Then Helen says, “Houston, is that you, Bob — (Owen had them made up for several of the Capcoms) I haven’t talked to you in a long time.” (pause) Bob says, “Where are you?” Helen replies up here in Skylab, the boys need­ed a hot lunch so I brought them one.

“Boy Bob, this forest fires are fantastic. Smoke as far as you can see, and the sunsets, they are magnificent.”

Then in a low voice Helen continues “I better go now. I see the boys drift­ing up to the Command Module. They don’t like me talking to the ground. Bye now.”

It was effective, but the ground just changed the subject. It was kind of a letdown.

Owen has a tape of continual laughter, you know the kind, and one with party sounds. We are going to use the party one when we hear we are extend­ed. We can tell them we are going.

On Sunday Jack always has the Capcom call his Sunday school class at the Harris County boys home and tell them he’s thinking of them—He plays some of the religious music he has up at the atm by himself.


This was a good day right up to the end. I had a М092/171 scheduled after din­ner (supper) and at about 2 min from completion I had to punch out. I had a very warm tingly feeling in my arms and shoulders. Don’t know whether it was too much hard driving today or just what—my urine output 2 days ago was larger by 100% my normal—It even beat Owen & Jack. It proba­bly means something. Also I found a knot on the left back side of my neck just below the point where the neck joins the head.

Then while I was riding the bike Bob Crippen, the Capcom, said we had a teleprinter message and to check it—he obviously did not know what it said as it was from the Flight Director Don Puddy reading “Crip’s birthday is today and we have a surprise for him. Maybe you could sing Happy Birth­day from orbit. (Incidentally, our wives and kids were at mcc tonight.) We rounded up Owen’s sound effects tape, found the party sounds and when he came up the next site we played the tape, told him we were having a par­ty in his honor and sang Happy Birthday. Jack stood back and hesitated to sing for some reason. Crip was moved I could tell—they brought out a cake for him—He is one swell guy, and efficient too.

This was the last comm. pass tonight so he told us that he hated to be the bearer of bad news but our request to stay longer had been considered but that it was decided to hold to the present entry schedule of Day 60. We answered with a simple, “ok, thanks.”

We talked of it the rest of the night—I ran around saying how great that was—now we could get home—Now we could get off the food—our Com­mand Module would never last more than 60 days—Owen said, “He never thought we would be extended because there was no positive reason for doing so, atm film used up, more erep sites than ever thought possible, we’re all healthy, all corollary experiments overkilled—to sum up—more risk with

little to gain—we could not think of any directorate but our own who would support us. atm wants us back for data to look at prior to SL4, erep wants its data, medical wants our bodies. Jack was disappointed.

Got call from the ground wanting to know who had been riding the ergom – eter during Jack’s M092/171—I said me. I knew Paul would ask about it lat­er (by the way, this occurred yesterday) tonight Paul wondered if I thought I could monitor M092 from the bike—I said yes, but that I knew the med­ical directorate would not like it. I asked if he could ride a bicycle and car­ry on a conversation at the same time. He said he went over to the simula­tor and tried it & it seemed ok to him.

When you push off the floor to go to the dome, it’s flatfooted and reminds me of the way Superman did it on tv.

In Apollo you go for just a visit or trip to zero G. In Skylab you live it.

Morale a little down today because of the mission duration decision. All of us moving a little slow—except in erep I got my alternate site after look­ing for chlorophyll bloom in Chesapeake Bay then almost got another site but the gimbal down ran out. We know our sites and its fun to work on erep — Jack & I both have 191 sites tomorrow—Jack has been down because he has had on nadir swaths lately.

I zeroed in on Seville, Spain, Marseilles, France, and Milan Italy this morning—Did not get Milan, too hazy, saw the airport though.

Got several changes to the entry check list—going to use the docked dap while undocked to maneuver and to hold attitude — must still use the old undocked dap for the burn—I enter it at 1 min to the burn.

I spent an hour or so reading the procedures. I will start to work and prac­tice them in the csm in the days to come—the other evening I spent an hour or so in the csm touching each switch as I went thru the entry check lists. Nice to find out one does not forget too rapidly—I knew them all and felt at home—But somehow tense. I have noticed I get cold when I get tense—In an airplane in bad weather just prior to a landing approach I always get cold and have to turn up the heat—once in the approach I forget and warm up. It happens all the time, and I guess it is an evolutionary protective mecha­nism—blood internal to support life, external flow minimized so cuts would not bleed excessively.

Had to reduce Owen’s schedule tomorrow—they had him doing post

sleep, miio (blood draw), hematology and urine specific gravity. Two hours assigned for a three hour job—My evening comm. with Sue is over the Van­guard —ship off some of these sites have good comm. Other just don’t seem to have it. Guam’s is one we have difficulty with.

The coolant leak in the csm has dried up — we do not operate the suit cir­cuit heat exchanger every 7 days any longer so the leak is probably in that valve.


Had 3 or 4 bumps on my head for the last couple of days—think it may be soap drying on my scalp because I have been washing it with soap a lot late­ly & the washrag rinse just doesn’t seem to do the job. Will use the brush & just water for a few days. It is necessary to learn a new way of life up here in many ways not always preconceived. Here we live at zero G and in Apol­lo we just visit or take a trip at zero G.

Jack & I almost pulled a great trick on erep. I had just taken the sched­uled site (Mono Lake) and an extra site + granite outcrop (Walker Lake) and finished a nadir swath (Boy does Jack burn when he has those) and he sug­gested we swap for a minute and he would get his site up in South Dakota. He had mentioned this just prior to the pass but I didn’t like the idea—Any­way as the time approached we swapped positions — I fumbled with the c&D pad but didn’t miss a switch —Jack found the big dragon-shaped res­ervoir but his site located between the dragon’s back legs was barely cover with clouds. We switched back—we lamented the weather the rest of the day because it was executed properly but could not be completed. We will try it again before coming home. Looking for the sites in the T-38S has paid off handsomely.

We then did T-20 suited—suiting up was long as was strapping in—we used the modified umbilical and found little tether dynamics—will be a good fix for SL4—Jack & I hope we do not do 509 again—we did not fin­ish till about 8 o’clock (1300Z) so we then ate and put the equipment up & exercised and got in bed about 30 min late.

Houston said they were going to slip our circadian rhythm around by get­ting up 2 hrs earlier on entry-6 days and entry-8 days for a total 4 hrs. We didn’t have to do it this way but if we can make it work. We thought one 4 hr earlier wake up would do the job better but it lost out—we can make this work though.

Owen commented on no time off & made up list for day off— This I trans­mitted to the ground along with a request for our day off (erep & atm) and get the trouble shooting done and all tests by entry -5 days. Our plan is to work entry whether they do or not and do other things after.


Eat, sleep, exercise and entry.

Jack was saying his memory was good but it just doesn’t last long. Anoth­er of his favorites is “I have a photographic memory but it just hasn’t developed.”

Haven’t felt too spunky the last few days. Owen mentioned it—I sug­gested it had something to do with my high urine volume 4 days ago—He thinks not, but that it is hard work, long hours—He may be right because we have hitting it steady for almost 2 months. I may go take a little nap pri­or to SO19 & M092 today.

Had a hard time going to sleep—felt guilty emotionally. Intellectually I knew I should but emotionally I had difficulty.

The M092 was the best I’ve done. Guess the rest was good but probably the greatest reason for the difference this time and last was last I had gone all day on afterburner and the test was just prior to bed. I had essentially run out of steam. Overconfidence will get you if you don’t watch out.

Should we fly the paper airplanes? NASA would love to show it on TV—but would it convey the mission the taxpayer is paying for? I do not know—Owen will have to decide.


One of the spiders died today—Anita, we think. The prime spider Ara­bella who is in the vial is ok—She had more time out of the vial. Got out earlier, and guess just remained healthy.

Tried to set up private comm. with Sue tonight—3 different sites—Either

1 could read them and they not me, or vice versa—or nobody read any­body — the ground always says to check our configuration. It hasn’t been wrong in a month. Wonder if there is any follow up on this.


Day off. We did our usual 2 erep & atm plus not much else. We go to bed

2 hours early tonight to shift our circadian rhythm around —We did not want this but can live with it. I went to the csm to get a Seconal to sleep on time.—Owen couldn’t find the ows Seconal—it was in some other drug cans that the ground had him move. Later he inventoried some drugs—This sort of thing always puts him in a bad mood. He gave the ground a partial hard time.

Pedaled the ergometer for 95 straight minutes, to establish a new world’s record for pedaling non-stop around the world — and as Jack said, I did it without wheels too. Owen was interested and thought he might do it lat­er in the week when our orbit had decayed and then beat my time by a sec­ond or less. Bruce McCandless pointed out that he must exceed by at least 5% to establish his claim.

I also took some movies of me exercising on the mki, the mkii and the mkiii for use later in post flight pictures. Need to do others of acrobatics soon.

Owen did some good TV of how the TV close up lens could be used medi­cally — He looked at Jack’s eye, ear, nose, throat & teeth and discussed how the TV might be used by doctors to aid us in diagnosis and in treatment of problems we might have, say, an eye injury, a tooth extraction, suturing a wound or any number of things from a broken bone to skin rash. Owen has a mind that dwells on the scientific aspect of all that he does. He knows much about much—he is interested in all branches of sciences. He is a great back of the envelope calculator — able to reduce most problems to their sim­plest elements. He has done great school room TV demonstrations of zero G water, magnets, his spiders.

On the erep c&D panel was

erep CUE CARD S192 Door—Open S191 Door—Open S190 Window—Open Tape Recorder Power — On


Jack said he felt good today. I had noticed he was not as happy as usual the last four days. He says it’s because of sleep lost.

Our circadian rhythm is in good shape today after the shift. The contin­uous day/night cycle makes it easer than on Earth — Also we are the only ones we see and we are all on the same schedule. Maybe that’s why days off that we work are no sweat, everyone we see is working.

Found out today that we had 6 hrs from tunnel closeout to undock—then і hr 45 min from there to deorbit burn then 24 min to 400,000 feet. A nice slow timeline that will allow us to get set up, double/triple checked for our entry. — Maybe we should get up 2 hours later—well, we’ll see.

atm operations have become much simplified the last week—with all the solar activity the film is gone.—It was a peak on the sun and we were lucky to see it.

We have had the opportunity and were prepared — who could ask for more. They call it luck but PREPARATiON/opportunity must both be pres­ent. I am very satisfied.


Owen & Jack were doing TV of paper airplane construction and flying. The trick is not to cause them to have lift or they will pull up into a loop—with more space they would continue in loop after loop. The designs were differ­ent than we’ve all made as kids—more folds in the nose and on the inside edge of the wings.

We interrupted our work to do some special TV—I took 2 of the M509/T-20 pressure bottles put a twin boom sunshield pole between them and taped that up. I then put some red tape and marked 500 on each. We now had a 1000-lb barbell. We showed Jack with Owen and I lifting the barbell on Jack. He grimaced till he was red as he lifted it up. We then moved it so it was to his front and he lifted it again as he came to full up he released his triangle shoe locks and kept going off the top of the camera. We then set up the atm for 2-3 minutes and did the Bean push up—both hands first, then with Jack on my back, then also Owen on his back — then a one arm push up then the finale a no arm push up with all 3. The piece-de-resistance was a 3 man high with Owen at the bottom, me in the middle and Jack on the top. We had to mount the TV on the first floor and do our stand up on the forward compartment floor to fit all of us in the field of view. Owen was great. He wobbled around like we were toppling. We now must put it all on movies to use after we get back. — Funny, you never know what movies people will find funny—It gives a welcome relief from the science we do.

At lunch Jack was talking about “stretch gut”—wherein he postulates since our stomach has not been pulled down for 2 months by gravity the tendons that hold it up will be weak and when we get home to ig, the stom­ach will drop and fall out over our pants. We laughed and further thought

if that happened our testicles would have the same problem in the scrotum. “Stretch nuts” I guess. Jack said he finally found out why people had trou­ble sleeping in space—no gravity to hold the eyelids down when the body gets tired of doing it. Up they come and you wake up.

Just went to the cm to put our pants that we will wear on the ship on our couches so that as we come up with items we wanted to take home we could put them right in the pockets rather than have items hidden all over the s/c. We have been discussing bringing Vance, Don & Bill’s patches (U. S.A. flag, NASA symbol) home for them but we wanted them to fly the maximum distance so should we leave them for SL4 to bring? We have been thinking what to bring to the troops we work with.

When Alexander the Great visited Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for the famed teacher, Diogenes replied, “Only stand out of my light.”


Woke up ~2 hrs early today. It’s our last time shift to fit the post-landing medical checks. The doctors are on the boat right now, heaven knows doing what. Waiting for our landing in 6 more days. Owen told Paul to take along his Scopedex and to do head movements.


Out the wardroom window we saw a bright red light with a bright/dim peri­od of 10 sec. It got brighter and drifted along with us for 20 min. or more. I said it was Mars but Jack & Owen said a satellite—it was because it also was moving relative to the stars. It may have been very near, it was the bright­est object we’ve seen.

Also saw a laser beam from Goddard. It looked like a long green rod per­haps as long as your fingernail held at arm’s length when viewed end on, that is 20 times longer than in length (which was parallel to the horizon) than in width. Tomorrow the ground will tell us that Goddard did not have our trajectory right and did not point at us—we may have seen the side view somehow. Owen said at the time a laser should appear only as a bright point of light and not a bar.

Entry – 5 day. csm checks went well—somehow I knew they would. We only look at the g&n and the real problem might be the rcs. Well, we’ll know soon enough. There’s no reason to believe anything’s wrong with the two remaining quads A&c. Got to bed an hour and Уг late tonight because

of late scheduled meals and not wanting to exercise prior to M092.—I talk­ed with the ground about watching our meals and sleep periods and exer­cise periods and keeping them on time because of the physically demand­ing features of returning to the ig on Earth next Tuesday. The days can’t pass fast enough. We have done our job and are ready to get back. At least I am, I don’t know about Jack but Owen would like to stay.

erep went well till I got to talking too much then I turned off 190 (the camera) rather than 192 (the multispectral scanner). Wish we could come up with a big play on erep like on atm but we have not had the weather.

Took Seconal because I wanted to get to sleep. It worked.


Got up feeling a little high from the Seconal and went right to the atm. Did ok, usually make mistakes early in the morning.

Thinking about eva all day, did our pre-prep—installed new umbilicals without water. We will use 02 flow cooling for the first time. Dick Truly mentioned a 4 hour eva limit before this but we should finish well before the time. I need to give my suit a good last minute check out. The drying and desiccants have helped my confidence with their integrity.

Had a TV press conference come off well—all of us had question asked us and we answered well I think. We are going to have many more of those the next few months—glad Jack and I are going to Russia in November. Wish Sue could go.

Found out where Elba and St. Helena Islands are—Dick Truly looked it up.

Helen Mary mentioned that the office’s reorganization had begun already. 5 groups, don’t know where I’ll be. Glad to be backing the Russian flight.

Our last erep today. U. S. & Sicily & Ethopia I saw an active volcano on Sicily and the Aswan Dam in Egypt. It is the most well defined man made object I’ve seen to date.