Aircraft-borne Lasers to
Profile Earth and Sea during Final Skylab Flight—
As Skylab’s third crew collects data on the Earth’s resources from 270 miles out in space, two aircraft from the Johnson Space Center (jsc) will skim near the surface using laser instruments to provide an exact profile ofthe land and water at more than a dozen sites. During the coming months, nasa aircraft will use laserprofilometers over portions of the North Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Puerto Rican Trench, and the Great Salt Lake to support Skylab remotesensing passes over the same areas.
Skylab Gypsy Moth Research Project—
One thousand gypsy moth eggs in two special vials will be launched aboard the third and final Skylab mission on November 10. The first moths in space are part ofa research project sponsored by the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research (aphis) in cooperation with nasa. Agriculture scientists are trying to find out ifthe state ofweightlessness might be the key to altering the gypsy moth’s life cycle. If weightlessness does prove to be the factor, the key point may be found in rearing insects by the missions and thus controlling a whole class of insect pests with similar life cycles.
Third Skylab Crew to Expand Knowledge
of Earth’s Resources—
Astronauts Gerald Carr, Edward Gibson and William Pogue will be well equipped to survey the Earth during a final Skylab mission that could last nearly three months. Their training included 40 hours of special lectures on Earth observations and they’re taking along a detailed handbook for viewing Earth from space and the largest store of film and computer tapes ever supplied for a Skylab mission. Meanwhile, the 20,000 Earth photographs and 24 miles of computer tape obtained during the two previous Skylab flights will be undergoing extensive analysis by iff Principal Investigators and their staffs in the United States and 18 foreign countries. Before the first ereppass of the final Skylab mission can be undertaken, Science Pilot Ed Gibson, assisted by his fellow crewmembers, will attempt to repair the antenna drive system for the microwave radiometer-scat- terometer-altimeter (sipj). Gibson will work on the Sip3 instrument during the crew’s first walk outside the space station, scheduled for the week following launch. Pilot Bill Pogue will join him outside.