Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sentimental Sunday - 40th Anniversary of Skylab

Skylab I launch from Pad 39A, KSC
NASA is marking the 40th anniversary of Skylab this Monday with a televised discussion featuring Skylab astronauts.

From the NASA press release: NASA launched Skylab on May 14, 1973. It was the nation's first foray into significant scientific research in microgravity. The three Skylab crews proved humans could live and work effectively for long durations in space. The knowledge gathered during Skylab helped inform development and construction of the International Space Station, just as the research and technology demonstrations being conducted aboard the ISS will help shape a new set of missions that will take Americans farther into the solar system. 

This brings back a lot of memories for me since my Dad spent most of his career working at the Kennedy Space Center for NASA. The photos below are of the Skylab Activation Crew at Kennedy Space Center. My Dad is on the right in the first photo and the second from the right in the second photo. If anyone can identify the other people in the photo, please let me know! I would guess these were taken in 1972.

In 1972, NASA sent a bio and interview with my Dad to his hometown newspapers in Celina and Dayton and to the University of Dayton where he received his degree in Civil Engineering in 1958. It's a nice record of his career up to that point. He continued to work with NASA until his retirement in 1990.

I think my Dad would be sad to see a time when we don't have the capability to launch a vehicle to the Space Station. This quote from him was in the second page of the press packet:

"I believe that each new frontier opened to man must be explored and examined for all the knowledge it may yield," he said. "I think this is the responsibility for the leading nation of the world, and, for it to shirk from the responsibility may invite disaster at some future point of time, be it concerning space program, oceanographic research, or advanced medical and socialogical research."

Picture of the Skylab launch is from NASA's Skylab page.


  1. When Skylab was launched I was nine years old and remember how exciting it was. How proud you must be of your dad for being a part of important historical event.

    It's really shocking when you think America doesn't have the ability to launch a shuttle into space any longer, especially when you consider NASA's past successes. To think we've come to this...astronauts having to ride "piggyback" on another country's shuttle to reach the International Space Station!

    By the way, I found your post via "Follow Friday" at Heather's Leaves For Trees blog.

    1. Yes, I am proud of him! We used to go outside to watch the launches when I was in school and it was a very exciting time. I never thought we would just give up our ability to reach the Space Station after coming so far. I always check Heather's Follow Friday posts, so it was so nice of her to mention my post. Thanks for stopping by!