Arago: Exhibits



While NASA prepared and launched the various Apollo Moon landing missions, planning and construction of America’s first space station, Skylab, was well underway. Skylab launched from Earth on May 14, 1973, atop the same type of rocket, the Saturn V, that carried the Apollo Missions into space.

Between May 25, 1973, and February 8, 1974, three different three-man crews stayed and worked aboard Skylab. Skylab contained almost three hundred different scientific instruments and experiments. The Skylab manned missions proved that astronauts could live and work in space for extended periods of time; the third and final Skylab crew lived aboard the station for eighty-four days.

Skylab Orbital Workshop, backup flight unit

The Skylab orbital workshop is the largest component of Skylab, America's first space station. It houses the living quarters, work and storage areas, research equipment, and most of the supplies needed to support a succession of three-man crews. Two complete Skylab space stations were manufactured and equipped for flight, and one was launched into Earth orbit in May 1973. After the Skylab program was canceled as effort shifted to Space Shuttle development, NASA transferred the backup Skylab to the National Air and Space Museum in 1975.