Space Stations

Skylab Launched This Week In 1973

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
May 13, 2021
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Skylab Launched This Week In 1973
Skylab Launch

This week in 1973, the uncrewed Skylab was launched aboard a modified Saturn V rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
The initial concept for the orbital workshop was devised at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. The center also managed the development of Skylab hardware and experiments. Over the course of its human occupation from May 25, 1973 to February 8, 1974, three crews visited Skylab and carried out 270 scientific and technical investigations and logged a combined 171 days in orbit.

Today, the Payload Operations Integration Center at Marshall serves as “science central” for the International Space Station, working 24/7, 365 days a year in support of the orbiting laboratory’s science experiments. After 20 years of continuous human presence, the space station remains the sole space-based proving ground and stepping stone toward achieving the goals of the Artemis program.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.