Launch from Cape Canaveral (KSC
landing 1320 km southwest of San Diego in the Pacific Oecean.
mission carried out the first crew of the Skylab space station
flight became a "rescue mission" for the overheated space station, which had
been damaged at its launch. Launched on May 25, 1973, the first Skylab crew's
most urgent job was to repair the space station. Skylab's meteorite-and-sun
shield and one of its solar arrays had torn loose during launch, and the
remaining primary solar array was jammed. Without its shield, Skylab baked in
the sunshine. The crew had to work fast, because high temperatures inside the
workshop would release toxic materials and ruin on-board film and
flew their Apollo Command/Service Module (CSM
near the station, Paul
unsuccessfully attempted to deploy the surviving solar array from the
's hatch while Joseph
held onto his legs. The astronauts found that their
tools were inadequate, and had to use a backup method to dock the
to Skylab after several other methods failed. From inside, they deployed a
collapsible parasol with telescoping rods as a replacement sunshade. The fix
worked, and temperatures inside dropped low enough for the crew's comfort.
on May 25, 1973 (0h 35m) (first attempt to release to the solar panel -
on June 07, 1973 (3h 23m) (successful release of the
solar panel), Charles
on June 19, 1973 (1h 36m) (replacement of film cartridges for solar camera).
Substantial repairs, including deployment of a parasol sunshade, which brought
the temperatures down to tolerable levels. Solar astronomy and Earth resources
experiments and medical studies were performed. The sunshade had been built
within 7 days.
For nearly a month they made further repairs to the
workshop, conducted medical experiments, gathered solar and Earth science data,
and performed a total of 392 hours of experiments. The mission tracked two
minutes of a large solar flare with the Apollo Telescope Mount; they took and
returned some 29,000 frames of film of the sun. The Skylab 2 astronauts spent
28 days in space, which doubled the previous U.S. record.
ship was the USS