Operation Skylab/Barium

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

Special Camera to Photograph
Comet Kohoutek from Skylab—

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

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

Release No.: 73-156