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Diagram of Saturn rockets, Skylab launch vehicles, 1973.


Diagram of Saturn rockets, Skylab launch vehicles, 1973.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 27cm x 32cm


The diagram shows a Saturn V, used to launch Skylab and a smaller Saturn 1B used to launch its first crew. The diagram also shows a cut-away section of stage 3 of the Saturn V. Skylab was launched on 14th May 1973 and was America's first manned orbiting space station. Visiting crews of three astronauts could perform dozens of tests on each other to find out how well the human body copes with space travel. Three crews visited Skylab during its working life, with the astronauts on the last mision launched in February 1974 staying in orbit for 84 days. Skylab was originally expected to stay in orbit for 8 to 10 years, but by 1977 the station's orbit was found to have become unstable, and Skylab crashed back to Earth on 11th July 1979.

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© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society

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