• Short Summary

    The Skylab crew will follow the same time schedule as if they were on the ground in Houston at the Manned Spacecraft Centre, even though they will be circling the earth every 93 minutes, thus seeing a sunrise every hour throughout the flight.

  • Description

    GV Rocket being assembled in Cape Kennedy hangar. (5 shots)

    Animation Skylab in orbit.

    GV & CU Skylab being assembled. (5 shots)

    CU & MV Skylab crew members inside mock up of Skylab, working, eating. (3 shots)

    GV & CU Exercising (2 shots) and physical tests.

    SV Crew member sleeping in upright hammock.

    SV Control panel in laboratory for neutral buoyancy simulator.

    SV & CU Astronauts in underwater tank of simulator. (2 shots)

    GV Rocket being taken to launch site (4 shots)

    Initials JK/VS 23.36 JK/VS 23.55

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The Skylab crew will follow the same time schedule as if they were on the ground in Houston at the Manned Spacecraft Centre, even though they will be circling the earth every 93 minutes, thus seeing a sunrise every hour throughout the flight.

    And for food, the crew will find meals as close to home-cooking as science can produce -- frozen or dehydrated food like prime rib of beef, filet mignon and lobster Newburgh or scrambled eggs -- all eaten at a dining table with a picture window view of earth.

    One day a week and evenings will be for leisure, when the crew can read, listen to taped music or even play darts and cards.

    Once a week, they can have a change form daily sponge bathing with the first showers in space.

    And at night, they zip themselves into sleeping bags hung on the walls of their own telephone booth-sized bedrooms.

    Observation of earth and the sun, and hundreds of individual experiments, will take all the astronauts' working time -- unhampered by chores like navigation, mid-course corrections or landing procedures that were familiar with the Apollo moon flights.

    Analysis of Skylab's performance may determine the direction of all future space ventures -- perhaps the establishment of factories in orbit and semi-permanent communities in space.

    SYNOPSIS: Work is almost complete on the rocket -- a massive Saturn 1-B massive Saturn 1-B seen being assembled at its Cape Kennedy hangar--that will carry Skylab into orbit on May 14. America has pinned its hopes for the future of manned space flight n Skylab -- the first major space project since man went to the moon. It is the first manned orbital space station in the world.

    This is an animation of Skylab, in its orbit 270 miles above earth. Within a day of its launch aboard the saturn, it will be followed up by its first crew, who will stay in it for 28 days.

    Skylab has been likened to a medium-sized family house. It has 50 times more space inside than the Apollo moonships. It is big enough, in fact, for the crew to fly small vehicles around inside in weightlessness tests. Skylab has bene fitted out with all the equipment necessary to approximate life on earth i-- the only missing ingredient is gravity.

    Weightless, the Skylab crew will work virtually in shirt sleeves, in an oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere. And every moment of their normal eight-hour working day will be taken up with scientific and medical experiments. Though they'll have the closest thing to home cooking that science can provide, even that will be analysed later by ground scientists.

    Intensive medical monitoring will go n automatically, and crew members will exercise and do blood tests on each other to see how the human body stands up to prolonged weightlessness.

    and after work, they can sleep - weightless - hung on the wall.

    To prepare for their unique experience, the crew have been using an underwater tank at the space centre that comes as close as is possible on earth to demonstrating conditions in a weightless condition. One of the concerns of science is whether zero gravity will weaken he heart and circulation when it is relieved the stress of pumping blood.

    Experiments aboard Skylab, as diverse as welding n airless zero gravity and growing electronic crystals, may lead to factories in space. Skylab will see if the sun can be harnessed as a future power source. Observation from space may make pinpoint crop and weather forecasting possible. Not least of its uses, Skylab will make the rescue of stranded astronauts possible for the first time. The analysis of the Skylab flight may determine the future of American space ventures. Scientists also think it may demonstrate whether it will be possible to have semi-permanent communities in space.

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