Definitions for skylab
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United States space station; in orbit from 1973 to 1979
An outer space laboratory.
Skylab was a space station launched and operated by NASA and was the United States' first space station. Skylab orbited the Earth from 1973 to 1979, and included a workshop, a solar observatory, and other systems. It was launched unmanned by a modified Saturn V rocket, with a mass of 169,950 pounds. Three manned missions to the station, conducted between 1973 and 1974 using the Apollo Command/Service Module atop the smaller Saturn IB, each delivered a three-astronaut crew. On the last two manned missions, an additional Apollo / Saturn IB stood by ready to rescue the crew in orbit if it was needed. Skylab included the Apollo Telescope Mount, which was a multi-spectral solar observatory, Multiple Docking Adapter, Airlock Module with EVA hatches, and the Orbital Workshop, the main habitable volume. Electrical power came from solar arrays, as well as fuel cells in the docked Apollo CSM. The rear of the station included a large waste tank, propellant tanks for maneuvering jets, and a heat radiator. The station was damaged during launch when the micrometeoroid shield separated from the workshop and tore away, taking one of two main solar panel arrays with it and jamming the other one so that it could not deploy. This deprived Skylab of most of its electrical power, and also removed protection from intense solar heating, threatening to make it unusable. The first crew was able to save it in the first ever in-space major repair, by deploying a replacement heat shade and freeing the jammed solar panels.
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