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Originally a public domain film from NASA, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
Skylab 4 (also SL-4 and SLM-3) was the third crewed Skylab mission and placed the third and final crew aboard the first American space station.
The mission started on November 16, 1973 with the launch of three astronauts on an Apollo command and service module on a Saturn IB rocket from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida and lasted 84 days, one hour and 16 minutes. A total of 6,051 astronaut-utilization hours were tallied by Skylab 4 astronauts performing scientific experiments in the areas of medical activities, solar observations, Earth resources, observation of the Comet Kohoutek and other experiments.
The crewed Skylab missions were officially designated Skylab 2, 3, and 4. Mis-communication about the numbering resulted in the mission emblems reading “Skylab I”, “Skylab II”, and “Skylab 3” respectively…
Cape Kennedy was named Cape Canaveral officially on October 9, 1973… The first crewed launch under the name of “Cape Canaveral” was the Skylab 4 mission, on November 16, 1973…
With three rookies, Skylab 4 was the largest all-rookie crew launched by NASA. Following the all rookie Mercury program, there were only five more all-rookie NASA flights – Gemini 4, Gemini 7, Gemini 8, Skylab 4 and, in 1981, STS-2 (There is debate about STS-2 being an all-rookie crew. Commander Joe Engle had exceeded 50 miles altitude during the X-15 program. Under Air Force rules at the time, Engle was considered to have flown in space and thus had been awarded Astronaut Wings. Subsequently the international standard of 100 km altitude has taken precedence, which would have meant Engle did not officially fly in space. However, during the time of STS-2, Engle had been considered an Air Force spaceflight veteran, even though he was a NASA rookie)…
The all-rookie astronaut crew arrived aboard Skylab to find that they had company – three figures dressed in flight suits. Upon closer inspection, they found their companions were three dummies, complete with Skylab 4 mission emblems and name tags which had been left there by Al Bean, Jack Lousma, and Owen Garriott at the end of Skylab 3.
Things got off to a bad start after the crew attempted to hide Pogue’s early space sickness from flight surgeons, a fact discovered by mission controllers after downloading onboard voice recordings. Astronaut office chief Alan B. Shepard reprimanded them for this omission, saying they “had made a fairly serious error in judgement.”
The crew had problems adjusting to the same workload level as their predecessors when activating the workshop. The crew’s initial task of unloading and stowing the thousands of items needed for their lengthy mission also proved to be overwhelming. The schedule for the activation sequence dictated lengthy work periods with a large variety of tasks to be performed, and the crew soon found themselves tired and behind schedule.
Seven days into their mission, a problem developed in the Skylab gyroscopic attitude control system, which threatened to bring an early end to the mission. Skylab depended upon three large gyroscopes, sized so that any two of them could provide sufficient control and maneuver Skylab as desired. The third acted as a backup in the event of failure of one of the others. The gyroscope failure was attributed to insufficient lubrication. Later in the mission, a second gyroscope showed similar problems, but special temperature control and load reduction procedures kept the second one operating, and no further problems occurred.
On Thanksgiving Day, Gibson and Pogue accomplished a 61⁄2 hour spacewalk. The first part of their spacewalk was spent deploying experiments and replacing film in the solar observatory. The remainder of the time was used to repair a malfunctioning antenna…