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.


Science on Skylab

Several books could be—and have been—written to summarize all of the scientific experiments performed on Skylab. Almost one hundred different pieces of experiment equipment were manifested for the original launch. Thousands of hours were spent on science. Tens of thousands of Earth obser­vation images were taken as well as over a hundred thousand solar astron­omy images.

The two fields that were Skylab’s greatest scientific legacy, as well as the ones requiring the largest time investments from its crews, were solar astronomy and life sciences in weightlessness. Research performed on Sky­lab would revolutionize both of these fields and would lay the groundwork for all that would come later.

Life Sciences

The Prologue: Early Spaceflight

Skylab was medicine’s first, best chance to unravel the mysteries of weight­lessness. Man’s ability to fly into space and to withstand the effects of being weightless had been matters of controversy since the very beginning of NASA. Opinions were all over the map. Some believed the experience would be pleasant and of no medical significance; the original astronauts were in this group. Others speculated that disruption would occur in many body sys­tems. Balance would go haywire without gravity to guide the inner ear; the heart would weaken; the passage of food “down” the digestive tract would suffer; urination might be impossible; and the isolation would induce a state of sensory deprivation, the “ breakoff phenomenon.” A lot of these hypothe­ses were published in medical journals, promoting the impression that space was dangerous and unknown.

The U. S. Air Force had begun to prepare itself to manage America’s manned space efforts, and this preparation included medical support. It was the unquestioned leader in the field of aerospace medicine with three

times the personnel and four times the budget of its closest competitor, the Navy. A distinguished German physician and physiologist, Hubertus Strug – hold, established in 1950 the first department of Space Medicine, at the U. S. Air Force School of Aviation Medicine. Other German scientists also did research for the Air Force.

NASA’s predecessor organization, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, or naca, had no medical staff or expertise; all of its origi­nal experts were borrowed from the military. To provide medical support to Project Mercury, the Air Force contributed William Douglas, Stanley White, and Charles Berry; the Army, William Augerson; and the Navy, Robert Voas. These men brought with them the military method of qual­ifying humans for the stresses of flight. As aircraft flew faster and higher, pilot tolerance to and protection from acceleration, hypoxia, and disorien­tation had become major problems. The approach to solving them empha­sized testing and monitoring both in laboratories and in flight, an incre­mental increase in human exposure with healthy skilled test pilots, and very close liaison between medicine and engineering.

The academic community’s advice was quite different. It emphasized peer – reviewed scientific experiments by National Institutes of Health or univer­sity scientists and a great deal of animal research before exposing humans. The rationale was that the effects of spaceflight must be characterized and proven safe before people flew. Throughout the 1960s a continuous stream of criticism was heaped upon NASA by scientists: its programs were too ambi­tious, too rushed, not safe. One group insisted that NASA fly forty animals into space before committing to human flight.

Animals were the first to be sent into space. In December 1958 a squir­rel monkey named Old Reliable was launched in the nose cone of a Jupiter missile to an apogee of three hundred miles; it survived the launch, but the nose cone was lost upon reentry. In May 1959 a rhesus and a squirrel mon­key, Able and Baker, made the same trip and survived. Two chimpanzees, Ham and Enos, became the first animals to ride in Project Mercury cap­sules — Ham on a suborbital flight and Enos for two orbits. Both did fine. Mercury’s medical support group believed that these flights, plus the reports from the Soviet Union of a successful six-day Soviet flight of the dog Laika on Sputnik 2 in 1958 (though recent information indicates that Laika’s flight was far less successful that early reports would have had the world believe), showed that weightlessness was survivable, at least for short periods.

But biological scientists wanted still more. Led by Ames Research Cen­ter, they achieved NASA approval and funding for the Biosatellite project, which would launch and study various life forms on dedicated satellites. The first Biosatellite mission failed on launch. The second successfully flew plants and insects into space in September 1967. The third was to fly a ful­ly instrumented monkey, Bonnie, on a thirty-day mission to pave the way for the Skylab program.

Biosatellite 3 launched on 29 June 1969. The spacecraft was built by Gener­al Electric Reentry Systems Division at Philadelphia, weighed 1,550 pounds, and was launched on a Delta into a 240 nautical-mile circular orbit. Reen­try was commanded on the ninth day of the flight, on 7 July (just nine days before Apollo 11 launched to the moon). Bonnie was recovered but died less than half a day later.

Here is a letter on University of California, Los Angeles letterhead, to the editor of Science magazine, dated 14 August 1969. It’s a copy of a copy of the original. At top left someone has written, “This has been submitted to SCI­ENCE for publication although NASA objected to certain portions thereof.” And on the right the person wrote “slayton.”

It’s a lengthy letter. Here are a few excerpts:

The recent flight of Biosatellite iii with a male macaque monkey (Macaca nem – estrina) was the culmination of more than five years’ intense collaborative sci­entific effort. . . . The flight lasted only 8y ofa planned 30 days. . . . The phys­iologic deterioration of the monkey. . . is mainly attributed to the effects of weightlessness. . . .

The monkey was in excellent physical condition at the time oflaunch…. All physiological sensors functioned perfectly throughout the flight and after recov­ery. There were 33 channels of physiological information…. The range of these measurements in different body systems and their detailed character are with­out parallel in any single previous experiment on Earth or in space.

The last sentence had been underlined, and in Deke’s unmistakable hand was the comment, “That’s what killed him.” (Garriott joked that if the surgical preparations the monkey underwent, among the least violative of which included incisor tooth extraction and tail amputation, had been required for potential Skylab astronauts, NASA would have lost nine out of nine crewmembers.)

The letter goes on to describe the monkey’s gradual loss of responsiveness to tests; the drop in body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure; the emergency reentry, and the death in Hawaii from a sudden heart arrhyth­mia after hours of emergency treatment. Now the investigators sum up:

The well-documented sequence of events leading to collapse in this monkey sug­gest the need for a guarded approach to design of missions for man that might involve extreme effort after a considerable exposure to weightlessness. . . the important findings listed above characterize this mission as highly successful. They also indicate the great value of carefully designed animal experiments… especially where the physiological sensors and required experimental control are difficult or impossible to secure in mannedflight. Sincerely, five scientists.

In the q&a session at a press conference, held 22 October 1969, Dr. W. Ross Adey, the principal investigator, was asked, “Why believe one bad result in a monkey instead of seventeen good ones in astronauts?” He replied that the astronauts didn’t do all that well, really—Dick Gordon never did get the tether attached (on Gemini 11), and he sweated profusely. Then the fol­lowing exchange occurred.

Question: To follow up Bill Hines’s question: might your experiments with this monkey indicate that monkeys are less adapted to spaceflight than men are?

Adey: Well, I think the question of individual susceptibility cannot be ruled out. After all, this is one monkey, and there are seventeen men. And here I would like to take off my hat as an experimenter and put on anoth­er one, as a member of the President’s Science Advisory Committee, which has had a medical group looking into the question of the biomedical foun­dations of manned spaceflight. And their advisory document to the Presi­dent has been released and is in the course of being published. And I would submit that the best considered opinion is that we do not now have the bio­medical basis for going ahead with the very elaborate programs proposed in the way of space platforms and space stations which involve major new engineering developments, and that the biomedical competence—or rather, the body of knowledge, as the report says—and I think I quote it correctly; it says that the necessary biomedical basis does not exist in NASA nor in the scientific community generally, and that it is not realistic to go ahead with the planning of major new space systems and exclude from almost any con­sideration the question of the biomedical capability of man to not merely

survive in space, which has been his requirement to this point, in essence, but to perform at a high level on a continuing basis.”

Kerwin recalled, “Well. That truly threw down the gauntlet to us Skylab types. None of us were thrilled to hear that the Apollo 11 mission had dem­onstrated mere survival. But clearly it was up to us to show that we could perform at a high level—on a continuing basis—while floating around. That we could brush our teeth, go to the bathroom, take spacewalks, yes, even (gasp) do science—just like Bonnie had.

“Chuck Berry’s response to the Biosatellite business was courageous and correct. He publicly and accurately identified the differences between the monkey’s circumstances and ours and judged Skylab to be safe. Given a lot of bedside hovering, of course. He’d put himself on the spot, and when things didn’t go perfectly early on in our mission, some medical pessimism returned.”

Meanwhile, those seventeen astronauts had flown into space for dura­tions that ranged from four and a half hours to fourteen days, and they’d all performed well and recovered quickly from any effects of the flights. There had been changes. There was weight loss, ranging upwards of ten pounds. There was loss of appetite and in some cases motion sickness. There was some muscle weakness after flight. Blood volume decreased, and a few astro­nauts had a tendency to be light-headed immediately after recovery. On one flight (Apollo 15, well after Biosatellite) there were disturbing heartbeat patterns in two crew members. Calcium excretion increased, and there was just a hint that bones might be losing structural strength. These gave rise to questions about the feasibility of long-duration spaceflight. Skylab was the place to answer them.

The Skylab Medical Plan

On Skylab, for the very first time, life sciences were not just along for the ride—they were going to have top priority as a mission goal. And the NASA life sciences people—despite their organizational fragmentation, differenc­es of opinion, and constant criticism from outside—responded to the chal­lenge with a well-planned, ambitious set of experiments.

One group would test the cardiovascular system, studying heart function during exercise and simulated gravity (using lower body negative pressure). Another would be a very careful metabolic balance experiment with exact

The Skylab Medical Plan

44- Weitz assists Kerwin with a blood-pressure cuff.

measurement of all intake and output combined with pre-and postflight mea­surement of bone loss using gamma ray densitometry, more accurate than the x-rays used in Gemini. Yet another would measure the body’s respons­es to the stress of flight by measuring hormone levels in blood samples col­lected and frozen in flight—and observe whether the trend to a reduction in blood volume and red blood cell mass was continuing. And one would intensively evaluate the vestibular balance system in the inner ear, suspect­ed to be the culprit in space motion sickness. There were cleverly designed “scales” capable of measuring the “weight” (the mass actually) of the astro­nauts, of any food and drink they were supposed to eat but didn’t, and of their feces. There was even a special cap to measure and record brain waves during sleep, looking at duration and depth. The scientist members of the crews got to wear that one.

All these experiments would be carried out during flight, not just before and after, thanks to the ample size and weight of Skylab. But designing them to be carried out successfully was still an enormous challenge. The food sys­tem would have to accommodate the metabolic balance experiment. Feeding the crews was a pretty big part of getting ready for Skylab. Astronauts have to eat, and on this mission they’d have to eat for a long time. So there were a lot of requirements and considerations jostling each other for priority:

1. Learning how to package foods to be consumed in zero gravity.

2. Launching all the food for all three missions aboard the Skylab workshop because the Apollo spacecraft used as the crew’s taxicab wasn’t big enough to hold it. That meant selecting food treated and packaged to have a year-long shelf life in space—not the best setup for tasty meals.

3. Giving the crews food they’d like—making mealtime a positive experience on these long and isolated missions.

4. Keeping them well nourished, which is not the same thing as giving them food they’d like.

5. And last but definitely not least, discovering what happens to nutri­tional needs during long periods in weightless spaceflight. This would be one of the most important medical experiments.

Storage on orbit for up to a year at “pantry” temperatures was the most severe environment yet for space food. It ruled out fresh food, food that required refrigeration—any food you’d throw away at home if it hadn’t been eaten after a month or two. Both weight and spoilage considerations dictat­ed that the food should not be stowed mixed with water. If soup was want­ed, dried soup was stowed, and the water was added just before eating. So a lot of rehydratable food, from orange juice to spaghetti, was on the menu. Adding water doesn’t work for certain foods—for example, bread. The solu­tion here was to irradiate it for preservation, then vacuum-pack it. Unfor­tunately, vacuum-packing sucks most of the air out of bread, making it an unpalatable paste. Bread was not a hit. But the sugar cookies—food system specialist Rita Rapp’s own recipe—were delicious.

Foods that were to be served hot were packed in plastic bags, and the bags packed snugly in little flat round cans. The routine was as follows: open the can, add water to the food through a nozzle, smush it around to mix

the food and water, put it back in the can, put the can in a fitted receptacle in an airline-style tray, and turn on the electric strip heater. An hour or so later, the item would be hot. This system worked well. It was a little time­consuming; one crewman would usually prepare three meals an hour or so ahead of time. And it did generate a lot of trash. Hot coffee was achieved a different way; the crew just added hot water to the instant coffee and shook instead of smushing.

Once the Skylab food system, or galley, was developed, the big question was, how many different kinds of food would be provided, and how much of each? And that’s where the scientists came in. Their working hypothesis was that flying in space was like resting in bed, immobilized by illness or perhaps multiple fractures. You were in “negative metabolic balance.” You lost appetite and lost weight, and muscles not used began to atrophy. It was intuitively obvious that in space many muscles weren’t used much (those used for climbing stairs, for example). The energy needed for normal body activity must therefore decrease, and the need for food would decrease in proportion.

Along came Dr. G. Donald Whedon, an experienced and prestigious researcher, with a diet plan for Skylab. He proposed that all Skylab crewmen consume a diet of 2,400 calories per day, below their Earth-bound needs. The diet would contain precise amounts of calcium, phosphorus, and other electrolytes and specified amounts of protein and fat with very little variance allowed. Some additional carbohydrates—’’empty calories” such as lemon drops—were allowed if the men were still hungry. Menus would be made up with enough variety to provide a six-day cycle, which would then repeat.

The crews would eat this diet for eighteen days both before and after flight. And—here’s the key— both before, during, and after flight, every gram of matter that entered or left their bodies would be weighed and ana­lyzed. Thus, whether the men were gaining or losing calcium from the bones or nitrogen from the muscles would be known with precision. It was a love­ly experiment. But it gave rise to some practical problems.

First was standardizing the diet. The crew violently objected to the assump­tion that all of them would have to consume the same amount of food. Alan Bean weighed 150 pounds and had consumed less than 2,000 calories daily on his Apollo 12 flight. Jack Lousma weighed a fit 195 pounds and ate more than 3,000 calories a day on Earth. There was no way they could both be constrained to 2,400. The second problem was that the 2,400 number had been calculated based on the assumption that during spaceflight metabol­ic demands decreased and so did calorie consumption. This might hap­pen, the crew argued, but it was unproven; and even if it did happen, it was wrong to put the men on the in-flight diet for nearly three weeks before and after flight.

On і March 1971 Deke Slayton wrote a memo stating in part, “We are not raising goose livers, and it is unreasonable and unrealistic to force-feed astro­nauts.” Finally, the investigators agreed to tailor each crewman’s diet to his usual intake. A week-long test using prototype flight food was organized, and the results used to construct the in-flight diets. Instead of merging all nine men into one data set, each one would serve as his own control. Feed­ing the flight diet before launch was retained, however. Sure enough, eight of the nine crewmen lost weight during the eighteen days before launch.

Another problem was, how do you weigh things in weightlessness? It’s true; Justice’s scales are useless in space. The little weights would just float away. But objects in space still have mass—they just don’t have gravity pull­ing that mass against the scales. So Dr. Bill Thornton invented an ingenious device to measure the mass without using gravity. His theory was this: if you attach an object to the free end of a strip of spring steel, clamp the other end, and give the object a push, the steel will oscillate back and forth. And the heavier the object—or rather, the greater its mass—the more slowly will it oscillate. So you have only to attach whatever you want to measure, start it oscillating, and measure the time it takes to complete three back-and-forth movements—the “period” of the spring and mass. Skylab adopted Bill’s principle, and the Air Force built one large device for measuring the mass of the astronauts, and two small ones, for measuring food residue, feces, and other small amounts of substances and small items. Given the oppor­tunity, Dr. Whedon’s team wanted to measure the mass of everything to the greatest accuracy possible:

1. The bags used to capture feces came secured with green tape; the crews were instructed to “weigh” the tape, separately, each time they used a bag.

2. They were then asked to mass measure each used fecal bag “wet” before putting it into a vacuum oven, where it was dried for return to Earth.

3. Both large and small masses were requested to be “weighed” to six significant figures—less than a hundredth of a pound for people, and a thousandth of a gram for food residue. That called for averag­ing many repeated weighings.

Whedon’s team explored several methods for sampling sweat, but final­ly gave it up as impractical. They knew there would be considerable sweat­ing but estimated that only a small percentage of the controlled minerals would be lost by this route. “The problem with these procedures was that we’d be spending an inordinate amount of time in flight doing them,” Ker – win recalled. “With only three people aloft, eighty experiments to conduct, and a hotel to run, we needed everything streamlined and every nonessen­tial task deleted. We compromised. The investigators would use the aver­age weight of the green tape. We agreed to the many repetitions necessary to calibrate the mass-measurement devices in-flight to maximum accuracy, and they agreed not to require that accuracy in daily use.

“We also made another promise to ourselves. The rule was, if you didn’t eat all of a food item, you had to weigh the residue to keep accurate track of your intake. We vowed that if we started a food item, we’d finish it, and avoid having to weigh it.”

Many people in the medical field were involved in these issues, but the crew’s principal point of contact for the experiment was Dr. Paul C. Ram – baut, who functioned as the principal investigator’s principal coordinating scientist. Crewmembers argued, agreed, and compromised with Rambaut for several years. In January 1970 he wrote, “The proposed in-flight proce­dures do indeed involve excessive and unproductive use of crew time for manual manipulation of food, water and waste. This situation is unfortu­nate and its correction has so far eluded the most vigorous protests of the Medical Directorate.”

What Rambaut meant was that the Medical Directorate had fought hard for fully automated systems for collection and measurement of food and waste but had been spurned by the program manager because it would take too long, cost too much, and no one knew how to do it. The Medical Directorate was willing to make things as easy as possible for the crews. But they were absolutely not willing to compromise the validity of their exper­iments. In Apollo they had had to stand aside for operations. Skylab was their mission.

Progress was made during 1970. While the engineers were figuring out how to package soup in peel-top cans, NASA’s nutritionists were working on the menu. By August a list of seventy-two items was given to the crew for evaluation, and shortly thereafter their deletions and additions were tak­en into account. Out went the strawberry wafers, the lobster bisque, and the cheese soup; in went the German potato salad, peanut butter, and—in a move that would prove lucky later on—the Carnation Instant Breakfast. There were five soups, ten drinks, twenty-seven meat-and-fish items includ­ing chili with no beans, eight veggies, seventeen desserts and snacks, and five breakfast foods. The contract was issued (to Whirlpool, a washing machine manufacturer!) and food production planning began.

One of the new items accepted was frozen prime rib. Frozen? Yes! The program office had agreed to provide food freezers with enough capacity for about four hundred of the little food cans—almost enough to provide one frozen item per crewman per day. (The freezer, though, did not include a refrigerator, so fresh foods that would have to be kept cool were still not an option.) Besides prime rib the choices included filet mignon, buttered rolls, and coffee cake. The investigator objected to ice cream at first, fearing that its high fat content would make it too difficult to fit into the straitjacket of his dietary requirements. But the nutritionists showed that they could do the job, and ice cream was added to the list. This decision and these items were major contributors to crew satisfaction with the food, and the mission.

And then there was item number ten on the beverage list: “Wine (rose or sherry).” As the crewmembers discussed palatability and variety with the experimenters and attempted to make the diet as pleasant as practicable giv­en the constraints, someone said, “Wine is empty calories too! Let’s have some on the menu.” Surely, wine is empty calories by the standards of the experiment—it contains little or no protein or controlled electrolytes. But getting it by the doctors wasn’t so easy. Early in 1971 Deke Slayton wrote a memo requesting several changes to the food system. One of them was the addition of wine. This suggestion was indignantly rejected by the experi­menters. The reply stated, “We disagree with the assertion that the provi­sion of wine is mandatory to make the Skylab Food System flyable. Wine is not a necessary component of any nutritional regimen in any environment to which human beings are exposed. . . . The principal investigators of the MO71 and mho series of experiments are adamantly opposed to its use.”

The formal objection by the investigators’ representative, Dr. Leo Lutwak, stated, “Alcohol has effect on renal function via inhibition of anti-diuretic hormone. This introduces an additional variable even if consumed in the same amount daily by each man. Possible changes in retention and excre­tion of fluids and of hormones in flight (changes in kidney function with respect to water balance) are an important concern. . . .” But crew represen­tatives argued that if it were backed off to once a week, any effects would be transitory and self-correcting, and the investigators reluctantly concurred. This is how they put it:

Recomm endatio n:

1. Delete all alcoholic beverages from menu.

2. Will accept: a) No wine first two weeks in flight or in first 48 hours post flight. b) 4 oz. ofsherry (or equivalent stability wine) once per week thereafter. ”

The crew accepted this compromise philosophically. The nose of the cam­el was under the tent. Now they had only to select the wine. There were a few requirements. Dr. Lutwak was right; they needed to pick a sherry or other fortified wine that could tolerate storage in plastic for a year or more. Ordinary table wine, red or white, was likely to go bad. The other require­ment was to select an American wine.

A wine-tasting party was set up at Dr. Kerwin’s house on 20 November 1971. Wives were invited but didn’t get to vote. Kerwin had had the pleasure of narrowing down the list to six wines from Taylor, Paul Masson, Ingle – brook, Wente Brothers, Almaden, and Louis Martini. The evaluation sheet outlined the rating code (a modification of the Cooper-Harper scale used by military test pilots to describe the flying qualities of fighter planes) and added these comments:

There are six entries, three dry and three sweet. All are domestic. A couple of import­ed sherries are at the end ofthe table if you care to taste them for reference.

Recommend about У2 ounce for tasting purposes, as medical science cannot cure a wine hangover.

Plastic cups are provided to simulate flight hardware. It is permissible (though not mandatory) to re-use your cup. Rinsing facilities are not available—wipe with napkin or shirtsleeve if desired.

To help you fill out the "comment” line a list of adjectives follows: unpreten­tious, robust, dulcet, uncompromising, reminiscent, ethereal, insouciant, devil – may-care, cynical, Earthy. A more complete list is being compiled for the flight checklist.

The Taylor cream sherry was selected in a close contest, and Rita Rapp set about her packaging duties. But frustration lay ahead.

All of the crewmembers worked in a few public appearances during train­ing. One crewmember (“We won’t tell on you, Jerry,” Kerwin jokes) gave a talk in a southern state in which he mentioned that wine would be served on Skylab in the interest of gracious living and crew morale. Several of the listeners took umbrage at this, and letters began to arrive at NASA and con­gressional offices objecting to government-funded alcohol in space. NASA chose not to argue. Wine was quietly withdrawn from the menu, and the crews’ kidneys were spared.

Despite this setback, the food system came together nicely as launch day neared. Procedures were devised for stowing most of the food in large over­cans in the ring lockers in the upper workshop, each can carefully labeled with crewman, day, and meal. These would be brought down to the ward­room about a week’s worth at a time and arranged, ready for each meal. There was “overage” also stored—extra food in case of spills, substitutions (discouraged), or mission extensions. Much of the overage was devoted to items that wouldn’t affect mineral balance—lemon drops, butter cookies, black coffee. It was a little complicated in the days before bar codes, but everyone tried hard to make it work.

Also on the topic of mineral balance, there were the pills. It was very important to the investigators that the intake of protein, calcium, phos­phorus, and magnesium be held constant. Protein consumption had to be imbedded in the food items themselves, but the minerals could be consumed as supplements. So the following routine was devised: all items not eaten by each crewman were logged and reported to Houston during an evening sta­tus report. If an item was partially eaten, the residue was “weighed” and the weight reported. Overnight, the medical team calculated how much of these minerals had not been consumed, and in the morning a teleprinter message told each man how many calcium, phosphorus, or magnesium pills to take. Munching the morning pills quickly became routine.

As a final gesture of solidarity, the dieticians managed to squeeze a num­ber of fresh items into the crews’ diets during the pre-and postflight quar­antine periods. It was really nice to have a fresh salad with dinner amidst the cans and bags. The meals were pleasant and memorable and contribut­ed to a team spirit that made the hard work of experiment compliance in flight manageable.

The other major intersection between research and operations was exer­cise. It was a design challenge and battleground between the crews, the researchers and, often, the managers. When the Mercury astronauts were selected, there was an enormous emphasis on physical conditioning and toughness based on a complete ignorance of the effects of weightlessness on humans. So the Original Seven, having been exposed to every stress the doctors could think up, concluded that staying in shape was their respon­sibility, and nobody was going to tell them how to do it.

As Mercury and Gemini flights took place during the years 1961 through 1966, all in small capsules with little or no opportunity for exercise and for durations extending to Gemini 7’s fourteen days, a pattern began to emerge. Astronauts had eaten less during flight and returned having lost weight and (subjectively) some strength. There was evidence of a decrease in blood vol­ume and a suspicion that bone density might be decreasing. Normal bodi­ly functions were accomplished with no trouble, and the astronauts did not suffer psychologically — quite the reverse. They loved the weightlessness of space and declared their readiness to go to the moon.

More of the same was seen during Project Apollo. The crews accomplished their lunar surface excursions with enthusiasm and success, but they defi­nitely paid a price, coming home tired and needing several days to recover their preflight weight and strength. Space motion sickness, first reported in the Soviet space program, began to occur in the larger Apollo spacecraft; and there was a bit of a scare on Apollo 15 when the two lunar surface crew­men developed cardiac arrhythmias during the return flight. This was attrib­uted to a loss of fluid and electrolytes, especially potassium, during their extensive lunar surface activities. “No big deal,” said the astronauts, and the missions continued with potassium added to the orange juice. But a case could be made that their strength and endurance, and thus their ability to perform challenging physical tasks such as spacewalks, would be compro­mised on very long flights.

The doctors tried their best to organize an exercise program during Apol­lo. These efforts were rejected. Here is a quotation from a memo from Deke Slayton to Chuck Berry, dated 27 March 1968:

Your recent offer to assist in development of an in-flight exercise program for Apollo is appreciated. . . . I believe it is clearly understood that crew physical conditioning is the responsibility of this Directorate. . . . Our intention is to provide each crew with the means and protocol to maintain a reasonable level ofphysical well-being. We have no intention of complicating the procedure by keying to station passes, data collection points, or dictated work levels. You will be provided the crew’s best qualitative evaluation of their exercise program in the post-flight report.

That was the background for Skylab, which was to be the first opportu­nity for medical researchers to gain extensive in-flight data on human phys­iology in weightlessness. One of the centerpiece medical experiments was to be an exercise tolerance test. The astronauts would exercise on a bicycle ergometer to 75 percent of their maximum preflight capacity, while extensive measurements were made of heart rate, blood pressure, a twelve-lead elec­trocardiogram, oxygen consumption, and carbon dioxide production. The tests would be repeated every four days. The ergometer, without the mea­surements, would be available for exercise on the other days. It maintained good cardio-respiratory conditioning, but did little for strength.

Nobody raised any objection to the test. But there were several problems associated with the use of the ergometer for crew exercise. These ranged from whether and how a bicycle could be ridden in zero-G, and whether the data from zero-G would be comparable to that from pre-and postflight runs, to the question of how much daily exercise was the right amount, and wheth­er the ergometer alone was enough equipment. There was another device onboard, the Exergym—a small rope-and-capstan device that allowed a certain amount of “isokinetic” exercise—leg and arm pulling and push­ing at a constant velocity against a load. It was difficult to use and was used very little.

At the heart of the daily exercise debate was a fundamental issue. In order to understand the effects of long-duration spaceflight on humans, was it best to prescribe and constrain exercise or to let it vary freely and mea­sure and observe what happened? The research community was in favor of prescription. They argued that unless all possible variables could be con­trolled, the changes observed would be difficult, maybe impossible, to inter­pret. They had the science of statistical significance behind them.

The operations community (astronauts and most flight surgeons) was in favor of “measure and observe.” They argued that there was insufficient knowledge to write a good prescription; that there were too many variables whose control would have to be attempted—especially individual varia­tions in exercise tolerance and preflight conditioning; and that more would be learned by allowing the nine crewmembers to react to the environment. Having a spread of in-flight exercise intensity was good, they said; it would provide a chance to see whether a dose-response curve existed. And of course, the crew still had that strong distaste for being regimented.

The Skylab I crew worked out a compromise agreement. They would devise and document both a preflight and an in-flight exercise plan and would care­fully record all in-flight exercise. About six months before launch, the first crew performed their baseline exercise runs on the training version of the ergometer. The ergometer was a good aerobic device; it had been designed to accommodate loads of up to 300 watts for thirty minutes. But Bill Thornton had ridden the training version at 300 watts for nearly an hour and destroyed the motor; henceforth, it was “de-rated” to 250 watts. That turned out to be enough for the Skylab astronauts.

The baselines determined were the watts at which three minutes of ped­aling would stress each crewman to 25 percent, 50 percent and 75 percent of the maximum heart rate of which he was capable; that would be the in-flight protocol. Conrad’s baseline was 50, 80, and 120 watts; Kerwin’s, 50, 100, and 150 watts; Weitz’s, 100, 150, and 175. That’s when Conrad decided it was time to get in shape. He exercised his command authority to require a session of paddleball daily with one or the other of his crewmates. All three improved their conditioning noticeably. But the researchers decided it was too late to change the baseline; the crew ought to have an easy time of it on orbit.

How It All Turned Out: Results

How did it all turn out? All nine astronauts returned to Earth safely, and all but one are alive and well, over three decades later. The exception is Pete Conrad, who was healthy and vigorous until his tragic death in a motorcy­cle accident in 1999. But did the Skylab team accomplish their goals? Did they measure the right things and measure them accurately? Were they able to draw conclusions? And did they discover what’s needed to keep people well and effective in space?

First, all the equipment worked. Food was consumed, uneaten items logged, supplement pills taken. Urine was sampled and frozen; feces were proper­ly processed and dried; both were correctly returned. Exercise was accom­plished once it was learned how; oxygen consumption and vital signs were duly recorded. Lower body negative pressure and rotating chair devices did not fail. Nine men were measured as never before. And it’s a good thing they were because NASA remained conservative and skeptical till the end. Dur­ing the final flight, the NASA administrator required a weekly report—on Wednesdays, and in writing—that the crew was in good condition and cer­tified to go another week.

In spaceflight, the first symptom to show up is usually space motion sick­ness. The term was bowdlerized to “space adaptation syndrome” by some thoughtful researchers, but some irreverent crewmen called it dreaded space motion sickness, or “dsms” for short. It’s a lot like seasickness, and a severe case can make you miserable. A problem with treating motion sickness is that if you are already sick and take a pill, you’re likely just to throw it up. Shuttle crewmembers who get spacesick are now given injections to con­trol their symptoms. The drug, promethazine, is quite effective but makes you sleepy.

The odd thing is that a person’s susceptibility to motion sickness on Earth has no predictive value in space. You can be quite sensitive in boats or cars and never have a quiver while weightless, or the reverse. But repeated flights tend to diminish the severity of the illness. And after it goes away, usually in three or four days, zero-G is a lot of fun.

The Skylab I crew had no space adaptation syndrome during flight. Ker – win got seasick after splashdown and threw up in sickbay on the carrier, but seasickness was not unusual for him. The most surprising finding was that the rotating chair experiment showed that the crew was immune to motion sickness in flight once they had adapted. Kerwin said, “I think life on a rotating spacecraft will be easier than I thought.”

Once they learned how to ride the bicycle ergometer in zero-G, their per­formance matched their preflight levels. In between medical runs, Conrad exercised the most, Kerwin the least. In contrast with exercise, the lower body negative pressure experiment was much more stressful right from the

first run. Heart rates were higher, blood pressures dropped, and several runs were terminated early to make sure the subject didn’t pass out. Kerwin was the most susceptible. This was a concern early in the flight, but subsequent runs showed no further deterioration in performance.

Those three experiments were the main source of in-flight data on adap­tation — or deterioration—and the overall picture looked good. Also the crew ate well, slept well, and felt well. The physical work involved in their spacewalks gave them no trouble. Twenty-eight days in space seemed quite feasible. How would they react to gravity after landing?

Here are the basic findings. The crew had lost an average of 7.5 pounds of weight. They were unsteady and walked with feet wide apart. They were most comfortable lying down. Standing heart rate was 30 percent high­er than preflight. Ability to exercise on the treadmill was correspondingly lower; each of those heartbeats was moving less blood through their arter­ies. Treadmill performance on landing day did correlate with in-flight exer­cise; Conrad did best, while Kerwin was too tired to use the ergometer at all until the next morning. Response to the first lower body negative pres­sure test was just about the same as to the last in-flight test — worse than preflight. Blood tests showed that blood volume was down, and the num­ber of circulating red cells was smaller by 14 percent—the bone marrow was not producing them at all. Finally, postflight strength measurements on the arm and leg muscles showed big decrements.

Return to normal was relatively rapid. The crewmen ate and drank vig­orously after their first good night’s sleep, and much of the weight loss had been restored by the fifth day back. Performance on the lbnp and ergom­eter was close to normal preflight limits in a week, and completely normal in three weeks. Full leg strength returned more slowly, depending on what exercise the men chose to perform.

Some questions remained. Their bone marrow didn’t start to produce red cells again until about three weeks after landing. Imaging wasn’t sensi­tive enough to show visible bone loss, but examination of the returned urine and feces showed that they were losing calcium steadily with no sign of lev­eling off. The in-flight cardiovascular data from lbnp could be interpret­ed as “not yet steady state.” And the large losses in arm and especially leg strength were a sign that the crew hadn’t exercised enough. The next crew was strongly urged to do more.

Skylab 11, unlike their predecessors, faced space adaptation syndrome on Mission Day i. Lousma was most affected and vomited that evening. Bean and Garriott felt nausea; all three took Scop-Dex capsules on Day 2 to sup­press the symptoms, and Garriott and Lousma continued this medication on Day 3. Garriott and Bean tried making head movements to hasten their adaptation but decided they were not helpful. All were well enough for full duty by Day 4.

Initial adaptation issues aside, this crew’s in-flight experience was similar to that of the first crew. The big change was that they performed more exer­cise and did not allow exercise time to be preempted by other tasks as the first crew sometimes had. They launched with two additional exercise devic­es. After seeing the first crew’s strength losses, Bill Thornton got permission from Deke Slayton to add capability, with strict weight and volume limi­tations. (Exercise was still an operational responsibility.) Bill looked every­where for candidates, and found the Mini-Gym in John Rummel’s back room. He rebuilt it with help from center engineering and flight-qualified it. It was designed to produce “isotonic” loads on the back and legs, and was used faithfully by the crew during longer daily exercise periods. The other device was an “expander” from Sears, consisting of up to four springs with handles that could be used in various combinations. (The Russians cop­ied this device and used it in their Soyuz program for many years.) These devices largely solved the upper-body problem. The second crew also had a device to measure blood hemoglobin levels, to reassure the doctors that loss of red cells was not continuing.

Skylab II returned to Earth on 25 September 1973 at nineteen past one in the afternoon, and the Command Module was picked up by the uss New Orleans forty-four minutes later. Here’s some conversation between the crew­members and the crew Flight Surgeon, Dr. Paul Buchanan, as they pre­pared to egress:

Bean: “We’re going to have to be careful; as I said, I was dizzy. Better stick with me. But I feel like if I could move around, just sit up, and maybe the dizziness would go away.”

Garriott (who had already left his couch and taken the pulse of his crewmates): “I don’t think it will, Al. You ought to watch for it to increase slightly. It’s likely to increase, I think.”

Buchanan (to Garriott): “Are you doing all right standing?”

Garriott: “I’m doing fine, but I can tell that any sort of motion induces the sensation of pitching or rolling, a little dizziness.”

Bean: “That’s what I thought when I just leaned up. I thought that I didn’t feel like I was going to pass out, but I did feel like—that I would be unsta­ble. . . . Let’s not leave these guys standing out here too long.”

Bean (ten minutes later, in the medical lab): “I didn’t think we’d get back feeling this good.”

They did feel good, and they recovered rapidly from the effects of their flight—Garriott fastest. Their weight losses had been for Bean, 8.6 lbs. (5.5 percent); Garriott, 7.7 lbs. (5.7 percent); and Lousma, 9.25 lbs. (4.75 percent). By “r+5,” the fifth day after landing, their lower body negative pressure and exercise tolerance tests were “within normal limits”—that is, back with­in two standard deviations of their preflight results. That’s not 100 percent recovery, but it’s impressive. After R+9, Garriott and Lousma were returned to flight status in the T-38. Bean had strained his back on r+i (showing that muscles were a little more susceptible to injury after a long flight) and didn’t get back to flying for another week or so.

Loss of strength and endurance in the legs was virtually the same for this crew as for the first crew. That was a very encouraging finding and a worth­while payoff for the additional time this crew spent on exercise (about an hour a day each). But the decrements were still on the order of 20 percent, and Bean’s crew recommended to Carr’s that they increase exercise even more on their flight, then being extended to eighty-four days.

Although legs showed a decrement with their diminished use in weight­lessness, the arms were different. They were not only used for translation around the workshop, but there were two useful exercise machines available for heavy exercise. Jack was a consistent user of this hardware and his early postflight data show an average 15 percent increase in arm strength, while his two crewmates showed little change.

And that is when Dr. Bill Thornton, who was making the strength mea­surements, invented his “Thornton treadmill.” Faced with even more strin­gent limitations on what could be launched in the Command Module, Bill Thornton and engineering built the poor man’s treadmill from a strip of slippery Teflon, which could be fastened to the Skylab floor with fasten­ers already on board. The crew placed the Teflon near a side wall with a handrail to hold on to. Wearing cotton socks and the previously discarded

ergometer waist restraint, fastened to the floor with 180 pound-force bun­gees, they canted their bodies about thirty degrees forward and “ran,” feet slipping on the Teflon surface. It was much harder work than running, but it did the trick.

The Skylab ill crew lived longer in space than anyone had before—a lot longer—and spent more time and concentration thinking about the lack of gravity and its effect on their body and their performance. For the first month they felt rushed and behind and didn’t get enough sleep. After that they settled into a productive routine. How did they feel about it? Here is what they shared during the medical debrief:

Question: “When did you think you were in control of things and every­thing was ok?”

Ed: “Somewhere between four and six weeks. At four weeks we were over the hill and I think had started to settle down and by six weeks I felt locked in solid.”

Jerry: “If you drew a graph from launch day, you would have a fully steep slope and the graph would bottom out the day the three of us bombed out on M092 (for Jerry, that was on Mission Day 16, i December). And from then on, you can chart a gradual increase with a fairly reasonable slope until prob­ably Day 45, and then you could throw a gentle knee into it. Again there’s a positive slope, and we were on the increase all the way to the end.”

How stressful was the lower body negative pressure experiment? All three men came near to fainting on tests run during the tenth to sixteenth flight day. For these tests another astronaut was always assigned as an observer, able to watch the subject’s signs and terminate the tests if warranted. The test involved subjecting the subject’s lower body to a partial vacuum. There were three steps of increasing vacuum: minus thirty, forty, and fifty milli­meters of mercury, the latter estimated to pull blood into the legs about as much as standing quietly upright in normal gravity. These tests were ter­minated early, before the end of the minus fifty exposure—probably mak­ing both crew and experimenters a little doubtful that they’d go the whole three months. But things got better from there. Gibson had only one more test stopped, on Day 71; Carr and Pogue had none. Here are some of their comments:

Ed: “I would say that thirty up there was like fifty down here. . . the amount of sleep, amount of water intake and amount of salt intake were significant [variables] for me. If I felt dehydrated or overtired, I knew I would have a problem with lbnp. . . . I’ve always felt a craving for salt on this diet.”

Bill: “And related to that, perhaps equivalent, was the time of day. . . ear­lier in the day, you felt better.”

These men could feel the fluids shift within their bodies. During lbnp they would feel less fullness in the head as their legs became engorged—and sometimes that would be followed by cold sweat and faintness. Exercise also shifted fluid into muscles, but it felt much better. So did eva.

Jerry: “But the times when I could feel the fluid shifts the most were dur­ing exercise. As soon as you got on the bike and started pedaling, your head immediately began to clear up. And by the time you finished pedaling and the blood had shifted to your muscles, you felt great. Your nose was clear, the pressure was off your sinuses, and you felt good; tired from the work, but you felt clear.

Ed: “I recall that on the first eva it felt good to get outside and do some physical work for a long period of time. It was comfortable to have a heart rate above nominal for the duration of the eva.”

In contrast, they felt periods of dullness or sleepiness during times of less activity:

Jerry: “I think that during a period of adjustment my stamina, reserve, or whatever you want to call it, was gone. I found myself essentially living from meal to meal, what we call a lowering of blood sugar, when you’re get­ting really hungry and you start feeling fatigued and tired and dull. I don’t know what it is. I call it a lowering of the blood sugar. That’s what we felt up there, but as soon as we got a meal in us we would feel much better. You feel a little drowsy after the meal, but shortly after that you feel better. But then it only takes about two to three hours for you to become tired again. The old reserve and the stamina is gone and by 3:30 in the afternoon we were hungry again, feeling bad.”

Voice: “Did all three of you feel that?”

Bill: “I feel that way, but I would have liked to snack all the time I was up there; candy bars to eat periodically. I could have used those through­out the mission.”

Jerry: “I wish I could tell you where the calories go when you’re up there.”

Ed: “I felt the same effect as Jerry mentioned. I would have liked snacks. I would have liked three meals and then snacks in between, some high-ener­gy food like Bill mentioned.”

Question: “Listening to you, I get the impression that one might suggest shorter days or naps, recharging in that manner as well as eating.”

Ed: “A siesta right about noon time would have been great.”

Question: “Could you appreciate that your legs had diminished in size?

Ed: “You could see it and I think I could feel it in my calves, after I had worked the Thornton device, for example. That really was an excellent device. I’m glad we had it along. When did we start using it, around two weeks into the mission?”

Jerry: “Yes, somewhere between Day Ten and Fourteen is when we final­ly got time to set it up and start using it.”

Ed: “And from then on, we started to turn around.”

Jerry: “I felt pre-flight that the lbnp could be used. . . to maintain con­dition. I always hoped that you would take one of us as a control and put us in it every day as part of exercise. . . use it as an exercise tool and not require. . . all the instrumentation. Just get in it every day for five or ten minutes then see what you ended up with, compared to the other two guys.”

Question: “Which of you would have volunteered to be the no-exercise, no-LBNP control?”

Jerry: “Oh, I didn’t say no exercise (laughter). We had already decided that there would be no volunteers for no exercise.”

To summarize the crew’s opinion, the lbnp didn’t do much for them, but exercise was essential. And the postflight findings certainly bore them out.

They all adapted well to the topsy-turvy world ofweightlessness. As Carr related: “The first two-thirds of the mission, my dreams were one – G dreams, and I shifted to zero-G dreams about the last third. It really surprised me that I had some zero-G dreams.” They struggled a little bit to describe the feeling of carrying one’s personal “up” and “down” around in space:

Jerry: “Looking out the window at the Earth, sometimes the horizon would be upside-down. It was convenient just to flip (my own body) upside

down and look out the window. . . [but then] every once in a while you’d look inside at one of the other guys ‘upside-down with his feet locked in the ceiling’ and he looked funny that way. And the table was upside down. It was very strange.”

Jerry: “The normal mode of moving was just to go head first, whistling right down through the dome hatch all the way to the trash airlock. [But] if I ever decided to go through the other way, feet first, I had a very distinc­tive impression that I was very high and sure didn’t want to fall and hurt myself. It’s just because I had my feet out in front of me and all of a sudden there was a reference that connoted high.”

The following table compares data from the three Skylab crews.



Food / Day

(cal /kg.)



Weight Loss Percentage *

Leg Strength % decrease

Arm Strength % decrease

28 days



4.2% (1.7%)



59 days



5.3% (1.0%)



84 days



1.6% (0.0%)



Data Comparisons of Three Skylab Crews * Figure in parentheses is additional loss during prelaunch quarantine.

Those averages hide some sizeable individual variations. On Skylab I Con­rad exercised almost twice as much as Kerwin and munched many more cal­ories per kilogram than either of his crewmates. On Skylab II Lousma was a tiger for exercise, but Garriott ate the most. And on the final mission Carr set a record by losing essentially no weight (only two tenths of a pound) in nearly three months aloft. He was only the second astronaut ever not to lose weight in space. The first was Alan Shepard, not on his fifteen-minute Mer­cury flight but on his Apollo 14 journey to the moon.

But the averages do tell the story. The story is, “Feed them, exercise them hard, and they’ll do well in space.” Or, to quote Dr. Bill Thornton: “The conclusion is that muscle in space is no different from muscle on Earth; if it is properly nourished and exercised at reasonable load levels, it will main­tain its function.”

Based on the Skylab findings, here’s a combined narrative of what you could expect to happen to your body if you took a big “grand tour” flight to Mars.

When the rattle of the booster stops and you’re in orbit, that strange feel­ing of floating will occupy your attention fully. Your head feels full, as if you had a cold. You’ve been briefed to be very slow and careful with head and body movements. You will take this good advice and feel ok—but the per­son in the next seat will suddenly feel nauseated and reach for the sick bag. The flight attendant (all are trained nurses, as in the early days of commer­cial aviation) will give your neighbor an injection, and he’ll feel a little bet­ter in the morning and be back to normal in three days or so.

Your vestibular system adapts slowly to the absence of “down” — that constant acceleration of gravity. The same absence causes body fluids to migrate from the lower extremities up into your chest and abdomen; the body responds by decreasing thirst and effectively losing fluid. Your blood becomes a little more concentrated, with a higher red cell count. Your bone marrow notices this and stops producing new red cells.

You won’t get space motion sickness, but your appetite won’t be very good for the first several days, and learning to move, eat, go to the bath­room, and sleep while floating may seem hard. On the morning of day eight you’ll wake up thinking, “Wow! I feel great today!” But you’ll have lost six pounds since the day before launch. Your legs look ridiculously skinny. The chief flight attendant now puts you on a strict exercise program for the dura­tion of the flight.

Unused muscles atrophy; exercise is needed to keep them fit, and you have to keep doing it faithfully. A treadmill keeps your heart and lungs in order and provides some leg exercise; other devices simulate weight lift­ing and tone the other big muscle groups. The compression also helps your bone retain calcium, slowing the gradual thinning of bone structure that is another feature of zero-G.

Your flight goes on for several months. Your workload is light. The novelty of looking out the window at the stars slowly wears off; you become bored. Small habits and mannerisms of one of your fellow passengers, “Herb,” begin to irritate you. Psychological stress — “cabin fever”—is definitely a risk of long spaceflights as it is of any long isolation with a small group of people. Skylab didn’t experience much of that, because the crews had been so care­fully selected and extensively trained. We hope that your Mars flight has a compatible crew and good leadership. Talk to the flight surgeon about your problems with “Herb.”

You make it through the flight with flying colors. As reentry day gets clos­er, everyone becomes excited and upbeat. You and “Herb” exchange e-mail addresses. You’ve almost forgotten what gravity feels like. Now you are about to be reminded! You survive the parachute landing at the Space Recovery Field and are helped out of the spacecraft. You don’t feel very good. Every time you move your head the world moves too, a severe vertigo. You feel as if you weigh three hundred pounds, and you walk unsteadily, with feet wide apart. Your pulse races. You feel dizzy, tired, light-headed, and thirsty.

First your vestibular system needs to readapt to the long-absent gravity vector. Your weight is only a few pounds less than when you left, but you are low on body fluids and red cells in the blood—almost as though you had bled a pint or two from a wound. And your muscles, despite the exercise (did you slack off a little the last few weeks?) are weak. A very light landing day and a very long night’s sleep start you on the road to recovery. Next morning you feel like someone getting up after a bout with the flu—a little light-headed still, but good. A period of rehabilitation, with careful, supervised exercis­es, will be prescribed for three weeks to get you back to normal.

The red cell count will be normal in a month or so. Most of the calci­um lost from your bones will eventually return. You’ll have been exposed to radiation during your trip, including cosmic rays; the amount will deter­mine whether any future threats to health exist. The lifetime limit is prob­ably one Mars trip per person.

The Skylab medical data set rigorously quantified all these changes and allowed the causes of many of them to be understood. It demonstrated the safety of three-month spaceflights sufficiently to allow NASA to plan and build the International Space Station—and incidentally to allow the Soviet Union to plan and build Mir. Both the United States and Russia have built on this data and now routinely fly for up to six months. But the strict quan­titative metabolic balance study Skylab accomplished has never been repeat­ed. It did the job. And repeating it would drive the astronauts nuts.

Solar Observations

For solar observations it is essential to note that our atmosphere is opaque to portions of the sun’s radiation. Only the so-called visible wavelengths, from about 400 to 800 nanometers (4,000 to 8,000 Angstroms) can pass through

the atmosphere without significant absorption. It is presumably no coin­cidence that this just happens to be the wavelengths at which our eyes are sensitive to light; while it is presumably a coincidence that the sun’s major radiation band is passed through the atmosphere to warm our planet. But the sun also radiates substantially at even shorter wavelengths in the ultra­violet, extreme ultraviolet, and x-ray ranges. It is again fortunate that the atmosphere does absorb these rays as they would otherwise be lethal to all forms of life here on the Earth’s surface. Without the thick atmosphere (and the Earth’s magnetic field for protection against arriving charged particles) we might all be living in caves, underground, or in the water.

So the Skylab was equipped with eight large telescopes in a large canister called the Apollo Telescope Mount, most of which had to be above almost all of the atmosphere to function properly. Two of the telescopes looked at the sun at visible wavelengths called “hydrogen-alpha,” radiation coming from excited hydrogen atoms in the solar atmosphere. As this wavelength can be seen with ground-based telescopes, it provided a means of coordinat­ing observations with terrestrial observatories all around the globe to look at a particular feature and compare observations. Three more telescopes were sensitive to the extreme ultraviolet and two to the x-ray portion of the spec­trum. The sun looks quite different at each of these wavelengths, and solar astronomers use these differences to deduce many things about the sun. For example, each wavelength of emission is directly related to a different tem­perature of the emitting atom and therefore to a different altitude in the solar atmosphere, which permits a much better picture of the sun’s struc­ture to be constructed.

The eighth telescope was a White Light Coronagraph, which could have worked on the ground except for the fact that the sun’s disk is about one million times brighter than the faint corona. Light scattering in our atmo­sphere from the bright disk completely swamps the faint coronal light here on Earth. The one exception to this occurs at times of a total solar eclipse, when the moon passes directly in front of the sun and blocks out its bright light. So only for a few minutes every year or so, at some places in the world (usually remote, it seems), it is possible to see the solar corona. But on Skylab an occulting disk was placed in front of the telescope to replace the moon, and the crew could then see the corona continuously whenever they were not on the dark side of the orbit.

So the ground astronomers and the crew remained in close contact every day. The ground teams worked up plans for how the crews could best opti­mize their limited observation time. There could be at most periods of about fifty minutes of sunlight, coming about ten times each twenty-four hours. Although there were almost sixteen orbits each Earth day, the crew was sleep­ing or otherwise occupied on some of them. This still permitted substan­tially more observational time than in the original flight plan. The ground team noted what the likely interesting solar features might be, argued with­in their own ranks about which instruments should have priority on each occasion, then had to argue with other research disciplines when special cir­cumstances arose, sometimes taking their case all the way up to the flight director who controlled the whole mission for a decision. Then when their plan was sent up to the crew on a teleprinter, the crews would plan the orbit’s activity and usually follow the ground’s suggestions. But the final pointing of instruments always had to be done onboard, and whenever solar condi­tions changed or the crew saw evidence of even more interesting phenom­ena, they might well change the ground plan and proceed with an alterna­tive observational program.

With the extreme ultraviolet telescopes the view presented was of gases at tens of thousands of degrees Celsius, coming from the chromosphere above the photosphere, which is the part of the sun the naked eye sees. With the x-ray telescopes the crew was viewing gases at millions of degrees Celsius, where the emission comes from even higher in the corona. All of these fea­tures differ when the sun is very active as compared with a cooler and very quiet sun. The sun’s activity varies over a cycle of about eleven years. When Skylab was first planned, it was hoped to have a very active sun, which would be especially interesting to most of the solar astronomers. But flight delays of several years pushed the launch date out into the quiet portion of the cycle. Then nature came to the rescue. As it happened during the second mission, the sun became very active, at least on one side, and the sunspot number (a measure of the number of visible black dots and groups on the surface of the sun) varied all the way from io to over 150 at other times. So very good observations could be made from quiet to very active solar conditions.

The White Light Coronagraph stood apart from the other experiments in that it looked at the very faint light coming from far above the disk of the sun. Of particular interest were phenomena then called “coronal tran­sients,” but now called “coronal mass ejections,” or cmes. In these cases a long magnetic strand lifts off the lower atmosphere and expands into an enormous loop far out into the corona like a stretched rubber band. Occa­sionally, the band is stretched so far that it breaks apart and the confined gases escape into interplanetary space.

When this happens a coronal mass ejection occurs and if it is pointed in the correct general direction, it will eventually arrive in the vicinity of the Earth. This usually takes two to three days. When it gets here, it frequently produces not only the beautiful aurora but also not-so-desirable power line fluctuations or outages and sometimes damage to sensitive satellites in Earth orbit. Even though satellites in Earth orbit may be damaged, it could be far worse for space probes or manned spacecraft far outside the magnetic enve­lope (the magnetosphere) of the Earth. In this case very energetic solar pro­tons could be more dangerous to space probes and people, whereas within the magnetosphere, the magnetic field largely turns away the charged par­ticles streaming outward from the sun.

Garriott reported one of the most exciting observations of his mission was the day the first major cme was observed. “As I recall, the ground called us and alerted us to the possibility that one of the low magnetic loops appeared to be rising. When we first looked at the White Light Coronograph, indeed, the loop was already extended roughly a solar radius or half a million miles above the photosphere. So I promptly took a Polaroid picture of the screen while we also activated others of the telescopes to record relevant data as well. Then when we came back around the Earth in about an hour and a half, I took another Polaroid photo, and sure enough the loop had expand­ed by perhaps another two solar radii into the corona. A quick calculation told us that the outward velocity of the cme was at least 500 kilometers per second, a phenomenal speed it seemed to us! As far as I know, this was the first visual observation of a cme and the first real-time measurement of its minimum speed. When analyzed more carefully on the ground, the same number was calculated.

“Also of interest to us were small spots visible in the extreme ultraviolet, but not on the hydrogen-alpha visible images. For lack of better terminol­ogy, we called them ‘xuv bright points.’ We didn’t really know what they were or their relevance to other solar events. We hoped they might even be precursors to a solar flare, for which a full study was a very high priority. They didn’t seem to live too long, maybe thirty minutes, then faded away. We spent quite a lot of time studying them in space, and subsequent analysis on the ground revealed that they are the source of much of the solar magne­tism. In addition we felt that they could be the location of new solar flares, so we watched them carefully. Indeed, Ed used this clue to provide imag­es of the very early stages of a flare by following the development of one of the ‘bright points.’”

Another feature studied at considerable length was coronal holes, which are areas of very low emission. They can be discerned all across the spec­trum, but especially in hydrogen-alpha emission and at xuv wavelengths. Both the ground and the space crew could see them, permitting close coop­eration in selecting targets and timing. What was less expected was to see the close association between areas on the sun’s face where there was very little emission (the “holes”) and the solar wind, which permeates all of interplan­etary space. It appears that the “holes” are areas where any local magnetic fields do not form loops, but instead are essentially open. For this reason, any hot gases from the sun, which would otherwise be trapped by the solar magnetic field, can now flow straight out into space.

While the results of Skylab solar observations seemed to exceed even the ground investigators’ expectations, one of its most valuable benefits was the instruction it provided to later experimenters who wanted even longer con­tinuous observations of particular features. The corona and cmes? Now the researchers knew roughly their frequency and speed. They knew to connect them to appearance of coronal holes visible on the ground. Bright points? Solar physicists have now been studying them for decades building from the pioneering work on Skylab. Much of the next phases of solar research have been done with automated satellites based on the results found on Skylab.

The Challenge of the atm

Designing and operating the manned solar observatory, the Apollo Tele­scope Mount, presented a challenge of epic proportions for the atm team composed of principal investigators who remained on the ground, the instru­ment designers, ground control personnel, and the nine Skylab crewmen who operated the observatory in flight. Like other such challenges, it proved to be highly demanding, rewarding, and just plain enjoyable, especially for those fortunate enough to operate the observatory in flight.

Skylab, and atm in particular, served as an illuminating milestone to both the test pilots and scientists in the astronaut corps: “Hey, even scientists have major contributions to make,” and “Even test pilots can actually learn sci­ence.” Enough lively kidding and chain pulling by both groups took place in training to field a cohesive, capable, and dedicated team of observers on each of the three missions.

Unlike most stellar observations, the detail visible on our nearest star demanded that crews be prepared to continuously make operational decisions with each instrument in space (instrument pointing), time (times of opera­tion and film exposures), and wavelength (use of different instrument oper­ational modes that covered the spectrum from visible light all the way down to x-rays). Our mother star is rich in a variety of features including granu­lation, supergranulation, sunspots, active regions, filaments, bright points, and coronal structure. Solar events also cover a wide range of the required time resolution from its eleven-year activity cycle down to flares, which are solar explosions that can rise within seconds. It was the challenge of the atm team to put instruments in orbit with cutting-edge observational capabili­ties and operate them in the way that maximized further understanding of known solar features and events and discoveries of new phenomena.

But just how does one meet this challenge? Basically, there were four essential components to the atm team’s approach:

Place in orbit state-of-the-art instruments with cutting-edge capabilities.

Provide the in-flight observers with real-time, appropriate feed­back on relevant features and events on the sun to enable them to make the best choices in space, time, and wavelength for observation.

Ensure each operator has the background and training to effectively operate the atm observatory.

Ensure the flight plan has the flexibility to accommodate optimum ground scheduling and observer real-time modifications.

Meeting the Challenge

i. State-of-the-Art Instruments

The principal investigators designed and had constructed instruments with cutting-edge capabilities. When designed, the instruments that made up the observatory had the highest feasible resolution in space, time, and wavelength and best combination of capabilities to meet the observing challenge.

In the design phase the potential observers, the astronauts assigned to work on the atm, had little impact on the design except in two important areas: the instrument controls and displays and real-time data fed back to

Meeting the Challenge

45- A solar flare image captured by the Apollo Telescope Mount.

the observer. As the integration of the observer into the design matured, the mandate for an integrated, simultaneous operation of the individual instru­ments was manifested in the instrument control and display (c&d) design. Design engineers each wanted their own c&D real estate for their instru­ment to do with as they saw fit. “We, the crew, wanted to stress the func­tional similarities in the way each instrument was operated as well as the sequence of each control operation,” Ed Gibson explained. “After ‘spirited discussions’ and hard work on both sides, we arrived at a ‘functional (verti­cally aligned)—sequential (horizontal order of operations)’ layout. For both training and in-flight operation, this layout proved to be highly effective.”

With today’s computer capabilities it is hard to imagine that many of the operational modes and exposure times for the instruments had to be frozen into the design many years before launch and could not be changed as knowl­edge increased before and during flight. However, the Pis did an exceptional job of incorporating a wide range of possibilities into their design.

Despite the thought, sophistication, and expense that went into the obser­vatory, the crew still managed to demonstrate the adage, “When the going

gets tough, the tough use duct tape.” Crib sheets, Polaroid cameras, and food containers were among the many items that were accommodated at the c&D panel by the astronauts’ universal tool—duct tape. However, when it was taken outside on an eva, the glue on the tape was either frozen solid by the cold blackness of night or turned to soup by the heat of direct sun.